SHANGHAI, Sep 9 (SMM) – Prices of light rare-earth oxides continued to grow last week, on expectations for tighter supplies after the closure of some smelting and separation plants.
SMM assessments showed that prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide rose from 319,000-323,000 yuan/mt at the start of the week to 325,000-330,000 yuan/mt as of Friday September 6. Prices of neodymium oxide climbed to 327,000-332,000 yuan/mt.
With major producers unwilling to lower their offers, the price gains turned acceptable to downstream consumers, rare-earth metal and magnet producers, last week, with improved trades.
Prices of medium-to-heavy rare-earth oxides rebounded last week, as the market had yet to see large inflows of dysprosium and terbium oxides from the cut-price auctions that ended over the weekend.
Prices of dysprosium oxide rose from 1.9-1.92 million yuan/mt at the start of the week to 1.92-1.94 million yuan/mt as of Friday, showed SMM assessments.
Prices of terbium oxide advanced to 3.93-3.95 million yuan/mt, with those for gadolinium oxide climbing to 180,000-183,000 yuan/mt.
The rare earths unit of state-owned China Minmetals on September 1 paid about 780 million yuan for antimony, dysprosium and terbium oxides inventories formerly held by the now-defunct Fanya Metal Exchange in online auctions.
Moderate improvement in demand and continued tightness in raw material supplies also helped bolster prices of medium-to-heavy rare-earth oxides.
Prices of rare earths are expected to see further upside room in September, in anticipation of demand pick-up, SMM believes.