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Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals (NYSEARCA:REMX)

Assets: $160.3 million

Objective: REMX seeks to track the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals Index, a rules-based, cap-weighted index.

Holdings: REMX tracks a basket of global companies involved in mining, refining and manufacturing rare earth metals.

What You Should Know

  • REMX is currently the only ETF that gives investors exposure to rare earth metals.
  • Australia is 24% of the fund; Canada is 19.8%; and the United States is 18.8%.
  • REMX debuted in October, and it’s already been a hit.
  • Rare earths are a fairly new area for many investors; these metals are typically not traded on exchanges because they’re available in such limited quantities relative to other metals.
  • Rare earth metals are those metals that are mined as byproducts of other precious and base metals.
  • About 50 elements on the periodic table are considered strategic metals, which includes rare earth metals.
  • Rare earth metals have a huge number of applications: they’re used in steel alloys, jet engines, weapons, hybrid vehicles, flat-scree TVs, fiber optics and more.
  • The risk is that China controls 97% of rare earth production, though China is just 14.9% of REMX.

The Latest News

  • China’s control of the rare earths market was demonstrated this week when the country announced it would cut exports of the metals by 35% next year, in order to keep some at home for their own industries.
  • That’s on top of a 40% reduction in exports implemented this summer.
  • Though China’s move is bad news for industries elsewhere that use rare earths, it’s been great for miners. Shares of Molycorp (NYSE: MCP), which is 4.1% of REMX, surged following the news.
  • Since July, Molycorp’s stock has tripled. The corporation owns a mine in California that is scheduled to get back in business next year.
  • Other top holdings have also gone gangbusters this year: Lynas, which is 9.8% of REMX, has gained 240% this year; Iluka, 9.3% of the ETF, has gained 151%.

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Source: A Closer Look at Market Vectors Rare Earth / Strategic Metals ETF