BEIJING, Dec 7 (Reuters) - China, the world's largest rare earth exporter, shipped 4,205.8 metric tons of rare earths in November, down nearly 2% from the prior month, customs data showed on Thursday, as demand receded after some overseas buyers completed holiday restocking in October.

The figure was up 42.6% from last November's 2,950 tons, the data showed.

Rare earths are used in a range of products, including lasers, military equipment, electric vehicles, wind turbines and consumer electronics.

Exports of the 17 minerals during the first 11 months of 2023 climbed 10% on the year to 48,868 tons.

Imports last month surged 125% on the year to 14,315 tons, with volumes from January to November totalling 159,472 tons, a rise of 44.7% on year.

(Reporting by Amy Lv and Dominique Patton; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)