SHANGHAI, Mar 20 (SMM) – Concerns about a lower supply of seaborne rare earth ore and domestic smaller quotas for production continued to bolster prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth from mid-February till Tuesday March 19.
As of March 19, prices of dysprosium oxide increased by nearly 13% from a month ago, to stand at 1.36-1.4 million yuan/mt, SMM assessed, Prices of terbium oxide rose almost 4% month on month, to 3.05-3.1 million yuan/mt as of March 19.
From May, Myanmar's rare earth ore will again be banned from entering China, after China's Yunnan Tengchong Customs in November of last year restricted imports of commodities from Myanmar.
Customs data showed that domestic imports of mixed rare earth carbonate in January were below half of the imports in January 2018. A decline of 67% in the imports of Myanmar’s products accounted for the overall loss.
Worries that tighter supply of ore may affect domestic production of medium-to-heavy rare earth accounted for enquiries from downstream consumers in the spot market, and this encouraged sellers to firm up offers, SMM learned.
On Friday March 15, China issued output quotas for rare earth minerals for the first half of 2019 at lower levels than a year ago, and this also grew market concerns about smaller supplies.