SHANGHAI, May 21 (SMM) – Rare earth stocks in China soared on Tuesday May 21, with Hong Kong-listed China Rare Earth notching the biggest gain of 135% in history, after President Xi Jinping visited a rare earth enterprise in Jiangxi province on Monday May 20.
SMM learned that most rare earth producers held back from selling praseodymium-neodymium metal and oxide since Monday afternoon, suggesting optimism across the market.
Praseodymium-neodymium oxide was quoted 270,000-280,000 yuan/mt in morning trade, up from 260,000-263,000 yuan/mt on May 16.
Prices of rare earths have already received a boost from import restriction. Imports of rare earth-related commodities were halted from May 15 by Tengchong Customs in Yunnan province, the sole entry point for rare earth shipments from Myanmar to China.
Curbs on rare earth imports from Myanmar, together with tighter domestic regulations on environmental protection and higher tariffs on rare earth ore imports from the US are expected to bolster rare earth prices.
US dependence on imports of rare earths, which are used in weapons, cell phones, hybrid cars, and magnets, kept the industry in the spotlight during the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington. Data showed that Chinese materials accounted for 80% of rare earth metals and oxides that entered the US in 2018.
China set rare earth mining quota at 60,000 mt for the first half of 2019, down 18.4% year on year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced in March. The quota for smelting and separation was slashed by 17.9%, and stood at 57,500 mt.