released export quotas in 2012 for antimony, indium, tungsten, molybdenum and tin at the end of October. Most of minor metals export quotas are lower in 2012 than in 2011. Export quotas will fall by 5% for tin and tin products to 18,000 tonnes from 18,900 tonnes in 2011.

In past few years, China export quotas for tin and tin products have been reduced substantially. However, the export volume has always been lower than the export quotas. China exported 6,450 tonnes tin and tin products in January-September 2011 according to China Customs data. Overall, the real export will not exceed the quotas since the China price has been at a huge premium to the LME from September, although China exported around 15,000 tonnes of tin metal from incomplete import data of third countries in the first three quarters of this year.

The export quota for tungsten and tungsten products will fall to 15,700 tonnes, down 2% from this year, the commerce ministry said on Monday. It also lowered the quota for molybdenum metal by 2% to 25,000 tonnes, and indium metal by 1% to 231 tonnes. This is the first time since 2009 that Beijing lowered export quotas for all of these metals.