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Supply Chain

Rare-earth prices fall on supply increase and China auto slowdown

Beijing loses leverage of once potent export ban despite rising tensions with Washington

The Mount Weld rare-earths mine in Western Australia. Shares of Lynas Rare Earths, which owns the mine, are at the highest point in about four months.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prices for rare-earth metals are declining as new mining is slated to start in Australia and elsewhere, spurring oversupply concerns and chipping away at China's dominance of elements that are vital to the production of high-tech items from smartphones to electric cars and military hardware. 

Neodymium, used for magnets in automobile and energy-saving home appliance motors, tumbled to a nine-month low this month, while dysprosium -- also used in auto motor magnets -- slid to its lowest in 19 months.

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