China will launch its first rare earth trading platform on August 8th, in an attempt to regulate mineral prices and monitor the market more effectively, Reuters reported, citing state media. According to Shanghai Securities News, the platform is spearheaded by Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi Tech (600111.SH), China’s largest rare-earth supplier, and will only permit physical trading. China produces more than 95% of the world rare earth output. However a recent measures from Beijing including a crackdown on illegal mining, imposition of production caps and export quotas have severely diminished mineral supplies, leading to a fourfold increase in price during the last two years. China also established a rare earth industry association and is planning to unveil a national strategic rare earth reserve in an effort to further control prices.