High possibility lies in oversupply of the rare earth export quotas in China in 2012


On Dec. 27, 2011, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China announced that the first batch of rare earth export quotas for 2012 was 10,546 tons. Besides, it set aside export quotas of 14,020 tons for the rare earth enterprises which are under environmental protection inspection. The total rare earth export quotas in 2012 will hit 31,130 tons on the basis of first batch quotas accounting for 80% of the total, which maintains the same level as 2011 at 30,184 tons. 

China Rare Earth Export Quotas (First Batch), 2012 (ton)

Source: Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, ResearchInChina

Because of price soaring of rare earth at home, Chinese rare earth products just stood at 49% of export quotas in 2011 around, and it is probable to see oversupply in the export quotas in 2012.

It should be noticed that the Ministry of Commerce carried out separate management towards light rare earth and medium-heavy rare earth for the first time, wherein proportion of the two reached 88.3% and 11.7% respectively. Therefore, the export volume of medium-heavy rare earth will decrease and its international market price will probably go up consequently, while the increasing supply volume of light rare earth will further drive down the price which has been down constantly.

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