Earlier today the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced the first round of allocations of rare-earth export quotas for 2014, to companies operating in China.
A total of 15,110 t of export quotas was allocated in this first round, comprising 13,314 t of light rare-earth (LRE) products and 1,796 t of medium / heavy rare-earth (M / HRE) products.
Initial mainstream media reports appear to have missed MOFCOM’s indication that the first-round allocation represents 70% of the annual quota for 2014. If this is the case, then the estimated quota for 2014 will be 21,586 t, approximately 70% of the 2013 quota allocation of 30,999 t.
Update (12/14/13): Further clarification of the MOFCOM announcement indicates that the first-round quota allocations for antimony, indium, molybdenum, silver, tin and tungsten will be 70% of their respective annual quotas for 2014, but that this will NOT be the case for rare earths.
One company that usually receives export-quota allocations, Inner Mongolia Baotou Hefa Rare Earth Co., will not be given a specific allocation, according to MOFCOM, until it has rectified environmental issues at its facilities.
Let’s now take a look at the allocation numbers associated with today’s announcement, before reviewing them in the context of the recent allocations. The companies below, highlighted in green are Chinese / non-Chinese joint-venture (JV) companies – the rest are Chinese-owned. The list is sorted from highest-to-lowest total allocation: