October 30, 2018 / 10:32 AM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-China says lower H2 rare earth output quota due to different weighting

* Industry ministry says annual rare earth quotas higher in 2018

* Says H1 had 60 pct of yearly quota, making H2 look smaller (Changes attribution to ministry, adds details)

BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Tuesday that rare earth output quotas for the second half of the year only appear lower because the first half quota was for a larger portion of the total annual quota.

The ministry statement follows a Reuters report on Oct. 25, citing data from Adamas Intelligence, that China was limiting domestic production in the second half of the year of rare earth minerals, a group of 17 elements used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

The ministry said reports China is reducing rare earth output in the second half of 2018 to a five-year low of 45,000 tonnes are “inconsistent with the facts.”

China raised the annual quota for rare earth mining for 2018 to 120,000 tonnes and for rare earth smelting and separation to 115,000 tonnes, the ministry said on its official Weibo account.

Because of a delay in issuing the first half quota, that volume accounted for 60 percent of the annual quota rather than the usual 50 percent, the ministry said.

“Therefore it seems that the plan for the second half of the year is lower than in previous years,” it added.

China, the world’s dominant rare earth producer, will “actively work with the international community to build a fair and rational rare earth market order,” the ministry said. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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