The PRC Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement that the production of rare earths in 2021 was set at 168,000 tons, up from 140,000 last year.
“The increase in quota was inevitable given the current supply situation in China and growing demand from manufacturers,” said David Merriman, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie.
Neighboring Myanmar supplies China with about half of its heavy rare earths, but the closure of a key border crossing point to contain the spread of COVID-19 has cut supplies.
"I expect the supply constraint to continue until the border with Myanmar opens," Merriman added.
China is the world's largest producer of rare earths, a valuable group of 17 minerals used in consumer electronics and military equipment.