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    China raises rare earth metals export quotas 9 pct

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    China's Commerce Ministry has raised rare earth metals export quotas for the second half of 2011 to 15,738 tons, up 9 percent on the first half of 2011 and double the amount for the second half of last year, it said on the government's website on Friday.

    China's Commerce Ministry has raised rare earth metals export quotas for the second half of 2011 to 15,738 tons, up 9 percent on the first half of 2011 and double the amount for the second half of last year, it said on the government's website on Friday.

    The move brings the full year quota for 2011 to 30,184 tons,

    China, which produces around 97 percent of the world's rare earth output, slashed exports of rare earth metals to global electronics makers, defense and renewable energy industries by 72 percent to 7,976 tons in the second half of 2010, causing its trade partners to claim the move was unfair, and had pushed prices up and that China was using its monopoly as a political instrument.

    Last week, the World Trade Organization ruled against China's export cuts of eight raw materials, such as bauxite, coke and magnesium, after it concluded the restrictions were discriminatory and violated WTO protocol.

    Beijing did not agree with the WTO position saying the restrictions were "in line with the WTO objectives focused on stable growth and providing healthy development of the mining industry."

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