China’s rare earth exports rose by 33% year-on-year in the first four months of 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported. The surge comes despite official attempts to curb exports by about 35% in the first half of the year. The discrepancy suggests that Beijing may have less ability to control illegal rare earth mining and export than it claims, and calls into question how effective the government’s most recent efforts to raise taxes and expand the quota system will be. Last year, China’s exports of the metals fell by 9%, even as the government looked to decrease the export quota by 40%. Share prices of rare earth mining firms soared on the news, as market participants anticipated further government tightening and higher prices for the commodities.