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Explosive demand growth Europe's problems could lead to supply shortages in raw materials, 17 June
As around 19 of the 30 raw materials that the European Commission has labelled `critical' are primarily produced in China, there is a high risk that these dependencies could lead to supply ["]disruptions["] for the EU's industrial sector.
The EU's dependency on China is particularly high when it comes to rare earths, a crucial element for many high-tech products, where China accounts for 95% of the bloc's imports.

"We should not accept that we have more than 25% of raw materials coming from one geographic area, whatever this area is, as such a dependency implies huge supply risks," [World Material Summit chair Phillipe] Varin added.

The dependency on China is even higher when it comes to the first stage of processing many of these critical raw materials intermediate goods. Andre Wolf, divisional head at the Centre for European Policy, told EURACTIV: "When it comes to the first stage of processing intermediate goods, I see perhaps an even greater dependence on China than it is the case regarding the physical concentration of reserves raw materials."

According to Wolf, China has already achieved a technological lead in this area, which would make it difficult for Europe to catch up in the foreseeable future.

wheat, cotton, tea, rice, gold, coal, iron, titanium, oil + gas, esters + hydrogen ...
The availability of strategic raw materials is also mentioned in the priorities of the upcoming Czech Presidency in the EU. The growth of  demand in the [EU, US] bloc is primarily driven by the Commission's goal of achieving [advanced economy] carbon neutrality.
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To boost the diversification of supply chains, the EU is additionally also working on partnerships on raw materials with third states.

On Tuesday, the European Commission - alongside France and Germany - entered a Mineral Security Partnership with Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom to address the growing international demand EXISTENTIAL CRISIS.

However, according to Varin, more needs to be done in this regard. "We have to engage in a materials diplomacy that is forging long-term partnerships with friendly states and get access to resource-rich countries", Varin said, adding that ["]relations["] with Africa will be crucial here.

by Cat on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 10:07:18 PM EST
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