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:
|Exporting Company||Allocation (tonnes)|
|Baotou Rhodia Rare Earth Co.||1,099||97||1,196|
|Grirem Advanced Materials Co.||974||197||1,171|
|China Nonferrous Import-Export Co. Jiangsu Branch||972||165||1,137|
|Gansu Rare Earth New Materials Co.||1,028||61||1,089|
|Yixing Xinwei Leeshing Rare Earth Co.||696||136||832|
|Leshan Shenghe Rare Earth Technology Co.||722||42||764|
|Yiyang Hongyuan Rare Earth Co.||729||25||754|
|China Minmetals Corporation*||621||122||743|
|Ganzhou Chenguang Rare Earth New Materials Co.||638||62||700|
|Liyang Rhodia Rare Earth New Materials Co.||504||186||690|
|Xuzhou Jinshi Pengyuan Rare Earth Materials Co.||606||64||670|
|Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Co.||543||114||657|
|Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals Group Co.||547||80||627|
|Jiangyin Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Co.**||475||142||617|
|Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Co.**||540||11||551|
|Jiangxi Rare Earth & Rare Metals Tungsten Group Co.||506||3||509|
|Baotou Huamei Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co.***||356||17||373|
|Chalco Rare Earth (Jiangsu) Co.||236||92||328|
|Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co.***||314||8||322|
|Shandong Pengyu Industrial Co.||260||30||290|
|Baotou Tianjiao Seimi Rare Earth Polishing Powder Co.***||172||8||180|
|Huhhot Rongxin New Metal Smelting Co.||135||10||145|
|Baotou Santoku Battery Materials Co.||136||7||143|
|Guangdong Zhujiang Rare Earth Co.||65||40||105|
|Ganxian Hongjin Rare Earth Co.*||28||41||69|
|Xi’an Xijun New Materials Co.||5||0||5|
|Sub-Total: Chinese / Non-Chinese JVs||3,757||597||4,354|
* Part of China Minmetals Group, which was allocated a total of 812 t.
** Part of Molycorp, which was allocated a total of 1,168 t.
*** Part of Baogang Group, which was allocated a total of 875 t (significantly lower than in previous allocations because Inner Mongolia Baotou Hefa Rare Earth Co. was not assigned quota at this time).
Here is a comparison of the quota allocations for the past six years:
If the second allocations in 2014 are similar in terms of LRE : M/HRE proportions to the first, then 11.9% of the total would be allocated to M/HRE products in 2014. This compares to 11.7% for 2013 and 12.5% for 2012, the first year that the quotas were split in this way.
There seems to be no reflection in the quota numbers, of the recent World Trade Organization ruling against China, with respect to rare-earth exports. It remains to be seen if the second allocations are in any way affected.
Update (12/13/13): by request I have added notes above to indicate which two facilities are owned by Molycorp.