The Chinese Ministry of Commerce today announced the allocation of rare-earth export quotas to individual companies operating in China, for the second half of 2011. The total allocation for H2-2011 is 15,738 t of rare-earth materials to 31 different companies in China (with seven of these companies contained within two different business groups). This gives us a total of 30,246 t of quota allocated for 2011 – almost the same amount as allocated in 2010.
A comparison of the quota allocations for the past three years is shown in the table below:
|Sub-group||H1 (t)||H2 (t)||H1 (t)||H2 (t)||H1 (t)||H2 (t)|
The individual allocations of quotas are listed in the table below, divided into lists for Chinese- and foreign-owned companies. The two lists are sorted from highest-to-lowest allocation.
It can be seen that once again, the rare-earth enterprises operated by Rhodia (Baotou Rhodia Rare Earth Company and Liyang Rhodia Rare Earth New Materials Company) and Neo Material Technologies (Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Company and Jiangyin Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Company) received between them the majority of quota allocations for foreign-owned companies, operating in China.
|Exporting Company: Chinese-Owned||Allocation (tonnes)|
|Baotou Huamei Rare Earth Hi-Tech Company*||1,112|
|Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Company*||979|
|Inner Mongolia Baogang Hefa Rare Earth Company*||858|
|Leshan Shenghe Rare Earth Technology Company||840|
|Shandong Pengyu Industrial Company||802|
|China Minmetals Nonferrous Metals Company**||773|
|Gansu Rare Earth New Materials Company||746|
|Yiyang Hongyuan Rare Earth Company||664|
|Xuzhou Jinshi Pengyuan Rare Earth Materials Company||502|
|China Nonferrous Import-Export Company Jiangsu Branch||483|
|Jiangxi Rare Earth Tungsten Industry Group Company||461|
|Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals Group Company||449|
|Ganzhou Chenguang Rare Earth New Materials Company||424|
|Jiangxi South Rare Earths Hi-Tech Company**||396|
|Funing Rare Earth Industry Company||351|
|Grirem Advanced Materials Company||346|
|Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Company||303|
|Baotou Tianjiao Seimi Rare Earth Polishing Powder Company*||271|
|Jiangsu Geo Quin Nano Rare Earth Company||262|
|Changshu Shengchang Rare Earth Smelting Company||189|
|Guangdong Zhujiang Rare Earth Company||186|
|Ganxian Hongjin Rare Earth Company**||158|
|Exporting Company: Foreign-Owned||Allocation (tonnes)|
|Baotou Rhodia Rare Earth Company||935|
|Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Company||835|
|Jiangyin Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Company||475|
|Yixing Xinwei Leeshing Rare Earth Company||431|
|Liyang Rhodia Rare Earth New Materials Company||319|
|Huhhot Rongxin New Metal Smelting Company||301|
|Baotou Santoku Battery Materials Company||146|
|Pingyuan Sanxie Rare Earth Smelting Company||75|
|Total for H2-2011||15,738|
* Part of Baotou Steel Group Corporation, which was allocated a total of 3,220 t.
** Part of China Minmetals Corporation, which was allocated a total of 1,327 t.
It is likely that the individual quota allocations were made according to a formula similar to that previously used, What is unclear at this point is whether or not new types of materials have been added to the list of rare-earth-containing compounds, for the purposes of being counted towards the quotas, when exported. Some ferroalloys are now on the list, but I don’t think that their presence is the big deal that some commentators are making them out to be.
The allocated quota numbers for H1-2011 were almost certainly NOT all used up, by June 30, 2011. In fact, all indications are, from the export statistics (murky as they are), that there was a significant shortfall. Granted, the likely root cause of the shortfall is the very high price for many of these materials at present.
The greatest speculation surrounds the potential inclusion of neodymium-iron-born (Nd-Fe-B) alloys, used for permanent magnets. At present there is no evidence to suggest that the list of materials to which the quota allocations apply, included Nd-Fe-B; almost all of the companies listed above are the same as in previous years, and are associated with simple compound production, not Nd-Fe-B alloy production.
However, we’ll continue to look into this and we’ll let you know if we find out any more detail on the list of materials covered.