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Volumes are at their highest monthly level since the country scrapped a 40% export tax two years ago.

Figures are also up from 940,000 tonnes in November.

China shipped a total of 8.51 million tonnes in 2014, up 82.2% from 4.67 million tonnes recorded in 2013.

The majority of the materials went to Japan and India. The preliminary customs data did not provide a breakdown of destinations.