China may not issue new 2011 rare earths export quota: report

BEIJING Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:40pm EST

A worker waters the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China, December 30, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

A worker waters the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China, December 30, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China may not announce a second rare earths export quota in 2011, the official China Securities Journal said on Friday, after Beijing raised international concern by cutting exports of the minerals next year.

The report cited unidentified government sources as saying Beijing may not announce additional 2011 export quotas for the essential minerals.

The Ministry of Commerce usually announces export quotas twice a year.

China rattled trade partners this week by cutting its export quota on rare earths by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 from a year earlier.

In part to appease those who have spoken against the export quota, including the European Union and the United States, China said this week it had not decided on a full-year export quota for 2011.

China supplies 97 percent of the world's rare earths, a class of 17 related minerals used to make electronics and clean energy technology including computers, wind turbines and electric cars.

(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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