China cut its export quotas for rare earths by 11 percent in the first round of permits for 2011, threatening to extend a global shortage of the minerals needed for smartphones, hybrid cars and guided missiles.
The government allotted 14,446 metric tons of rare earth exports split among 31 companies, the Ministry of Commerce said on 28 December in a statement. That compares with the first round in 2010 of 16,304 tons and the second round of 7,976 tons, according to previous ministry statements. The government usually issues two rounds of export quotas every year.
China, which accounts for more than 90 percent of world supplies, slashed export quotas by 72 percent in the second half of 2010, sparking a surge in prices.
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