China ups rare earth production quotas 14% for 2023
Myanmar shutdowns spark boost in Chinese quotas
With the future of Myanmar uncertain, China raised full year rare earth production quotas for 2023.
Overall, mining quotas have been increased to 240,000 tonnes this year (up 14%) while smelting and separation quotas have been increased to 230,000 tonnes (up 14%).
Versus the first quota announcement of 2023 which saw an 18-19% increase compared with the year prior, the second quota announcement of 2023 is up just 10% versus the same period last year and we believe would have been even lower had Myanmar shutdowns not materialized.
Heavy rare earth production quotas go unchanged speaking to scarcity of associated resources in China
China Northern Rare Earth Group is once again the main benefactor of the quota increases whereas middle and heavy rare earth quotas have gone virtually unchanged for nearly 6 years straight – speaking to the the scarcity of associated resources in China.
With market conditions already beginning to improve in recent months and the seasonally strong fourth quarter fast approaching, China’s 14% increase in quotas this year will be needed to support global demand growth, particularly in light of current Myanmar uncertainty and a potential winding down of concentrate exports to China from MP Materials.
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