SHANGHAI, Jun 17 (SMM) – Prices of light, medium and heavy rare earth products extended their gains in the week ended June 14, SMM assessments showed.
For light rare earth, higher ore prices and market optimism bolstered prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide to 360,000-365,000 yuan/mt, even though downstream consumption did not see strong performance. Prices of neodymium oxide followed praseodymium-neodymium oxide higher, rising to 365,000-370,000 yuan/mt.
Light rare earths received a boost from higher ore prices and positive signals from central authorities, but a supply surplus will cap gains.
Prices of rare earth carbonate averaged 29,000 yuan/mt as of June 14, sharply up from 20,000 yuan/mt in the previous week. This lifted costs across smelting and separation plants.
Market confidence in rare earths grew after President Xi Jinping visited a permanent magnets producer in Jiangxi in May, the National Development and Reform Commission held a seminar in early June to seek advice on the industry, and the NDRC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Natural Resources started detailed surveys in areas rich in mineral deposits last week.
For medium, heavy rare earth, prices of terbium oxide climbed significantly to 4.1 million-4.15 million yuan/mt. Prices of yttrium oxide, erbium oxide and holmium oxide all advanced last week, to 210,000-220,000 yuan/mt, 185,000-190,000 yuan/mt and 400,000-410,000 yuan/mt, respectively.
An ore supply shortage will remain supportive of prices of medium, heavy rare earth such as terbium oxide and dysprosium oxide.
The suspension of ion-type ore imports from Myanmar, and shutdowns of 56 medium, heavy rare earth mines of China South Rare Earth Group intensified issues with medium, heavy rare earth ore supplies.