On Monday China’s Ministry of Commerce announced its second rare earth export quota of 15,550 tonnes for this year.

The quota includes 13,821 tonnes for light rare earth metals and 1,670 tonnes for heavy rare earth metals.

Monday’s announcement brings this year’s full year REE quota to 31,001 tonnes.  The REE quota for the first half of this year was set at 15,501 tonnes.

China, which produces 95% of global rare earths, exported 16,265 tonnes of rare earths in 2012 although the allocated quota for last year was 30,966 tonnes.

The ministry said that this year’s quota was based on actual rare earth exports from 2010 to 2012, according to a statement published on its website.

A new report announced Monday by Albany, New York-based Transparency Market Resource noted that rare earth metals demands demand was worth US$3.93 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach US$8.19 billion by 2018.

Transparency Market Resource said China was the largest regional market for rare earth metals in Asia in 2011, accounting for 50% of total volumes. “Regional demand for magnets and the growing metallurgy industry are expected to drive the Asia Pacific market in the near future.”