China reduces rare earth export quota by 72%

Updated: 2010-07-09 14:22
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China, the world's largest rare-earth producer, cut export quotas for the minerals needed to make hybrid cars and televisions by 72 percent for the second half.

Shipments will be capped at 7,976 metric tons, down from 28,417 tons for the same period a year ago, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce yesterday.

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"The rare earths industry officials have realized that, after many years of continued growth in exports, the industry didn't receive due profit returns," Liu Aisheng, director of the Chinese Society of Rare Earth, said in an interview by phone from Beijing. "They adjusted the policy to ensure that the resources are optimally utilized."

Shares of Lynas Corp, building a rare earth mine in Australia, rose 5.5 percent to 58 Australian cents at 12:58 pm in Sydney. Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co, the biggest Chinese producer, fell 1 percent to 35.80 yuan at 11:04 am on the Shanghai exchange.

Baotou Steel, Baotou Huamei RE Products Co Ltd and Sinosteel Corp are among the 32 local and foreign companies that are permitted to export in the second half, according to the Ministry of Commerce statement.