BEIJING (Scrap Register): China, the world's biggest producer of rare earths, has issued output quotas for rare earth minerals for the first half of 2019 at lower levels than last year's unusually high amount, leading to concerns the lower supply may not be enough to meet domestic demand.
The mining output quota for the first half of 2019 was set at 60,000 tonnes, down 18.4% from a year earlier, while the smelting and separation quota was set at 57,500 tonnes, down 17.9%, Reuters reported citing a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The full-year quotas for 2018 ended up at 120,000 tonnes and 115,000 tonnes. Still, the lower quotas has increased concerns that China may not be able to produce enough rare earths for its demand.
China will announce the second batch of quotas, which will "take into account market demand," by the end of June, according to the statement.