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China boosts rare-earth output amid growing tech war with US

New quota is 30% higher than last year as demand for EVs and robotics soars

Trucks haul ore at a Jiangxi Copper mine in Dexing, China.    © Reuters

BEIJING -- In a move seen as a defensive measure against possible future U.S.-led trade bans, China has increased its production quota for rare-earth metals by close to 30% for the first half of this year.

While being the world's dominant producer of rare earths, China does import the minerals from abroad, primarily from Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam. Imports accounted for 47,000 tons, or about a quarter, of China's rare-earth market last year.

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