China rare earths giant halts output for a month
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.