BEIJING, June 7 (Reuters) - China's exports of rare earths in May climbed 35.9% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, buoyed by a wave of restocking from overseas buyers.

The world's largest producer shipped out 6,217 metric tons of the group of 17 minerals last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

That compares to 4,566 tons shipped in April and 4,576 tons in May 2023.

China accounts for 70% of rare earths mining globally and 90% of refined output, according to the United States Geological Survey.

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

In the first five months of 2024, China's rare earths exports totalled 24,266.5 tons, up 14.3% year-on-year, customs data showed. (Reporting by Amy Lv and Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Kim Coghill and Himani Sarkar)