SHANGHAI, Aug 30 (SMM) – Prices of light rare-earth oxides extended their gains this week, as smelting and separation plants are expected to throttle down production in the remainder of the year after they produced more than planned earlier in the year.
SMM assessments showed that prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide rose to 315,000-320,000 yuan/mt as of Friday August 30, from 305,000-313,000 yuan/mt at the start of the week.
Prices of neodymium oxide climbed from 307,000-315,000 yuan/mt to 317,000-322,000 yuan/mt.
Prospects for tighter supply, together with improving demand, will likely further bolster prices of light rare-earth products.
Prices of medium-to-heavy rare-earth oxides, however, continued their declines this week, as fears remained that cheaper materials will enter the market after the cut-price auctions of stocks of dysprosium and terbium oxides formerly held by the now-defunct Fanya Metal Exchange
Prices of dysprosium oxide fell from 1.9-1.93 million yuan/mt on Monday to 1.9-1.92 million yuan/mt on Friday, showed SMM assessments, while those for terbium oxide slipped from 3.92-3.95 million yuan/mt to 3.92-3.93 million yuan/mt.
Tracking losses in its medium-to-heavy rare-earth counterparts, prices of holmium oxide eased from 385,000-390,000 yuan/mt to 370,000-375,000 yuan/mt.
The imminent auction for dysprosium oxide would be open to bids with a starting price that is some 400,000 yuan/mt lower than market prices.
Recovering demand and tight ore supply will boost prices of medium-to-heavy rare-earth products, if there are not large inflows of lower-priced dysprosium and terbium oxides.