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China rare earths giant halts output for a month

Published on Oct 24, 2012 6:26 PM

SHANGHAI (AFP) - China's largest rare earths producer, Baotou Steel Rare-Earth, said on Wednesday it had suspended production for a month to try to stem falling prices for the elements.

China produces more than 95 per cent of the world's rare earths, 17 elements crucial for making a range of hi-tech products.

The country's control over the sought-after resources - through production caps and export quotas - has sparked a dispute with major trading partners.

"The rare earth market has been sluggish in the second half of this year with prices trending lower in thin trade," Baotou said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, where it is listed.

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