BEIJING- * China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) says it and other government bodies will launch a month-long campaign against illegal rare earth production in the country involving eight inspection teams.
* Despite recent improvements, illegal rare earth mining and unplanned production still occur from time to time, disrupting market order, MIIT says in a statement
* "Previously we have stated that prices are likely to track sideways unless a nationwide MIIT crackdown commences. Well here it is," CLSA analyst Dylan Kelly says in a note.
* Rare earths, of which China is the world's biggest producer, are a group of 17 elements used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
* Southeast China's Jiangxi province, a key rare earth producing region, is already implementing a crackdown on illegal rare earth output until January 2019.
* MIIT separately on Tuesday attributed China's lower rare earth output quotas in the second half of 2018 to higher-than-normal quotas for the first half.
(Reporting by Tom Daly Editing by Edmund Blair) ((email@example.com; +86 10 6627 1023;))