SHENZHEN, Sep 23 (SMM) – Prices of rare-earth products are likely to climb in the remainder of this year, in anticipation of stockpiling for strategic reserves by Beijing as well as tighter supplies and demand improvement, said Li Ziyan, senior rare earth analyst at SMM.
The price growth is expected to be steady, Li told delegates at the 2019 forum on the development of China’s rare earth and permanent magnet industry held by SMM in Shenzhen on Monday September 23, as market participants will be more rational after sharp price gains in the first half of 2019.
A fall in ore supply from Myanmar following a ban on imports that took effect in May will help lift prices of medium and heavy rare earths, as mixed rare earth carbonate is the feedstock for producing medium and heavy rare-earth oxides.
Customs data showed that mixed rare earth carbonate accounted for 73.77% of China’s rare earth imports in June-July, compared with a ratio of 92.32% in January-May.
For light rare-earth oxides, supply will tighten as a slew of smelting and separation plants have been required to suspend after excessive production in the first half of the year.
Li also said that the role as a strategic resource, Chinese government’s crackdown on the black market and protracted trade conflict with Washington will remain supportive of rare earth prices.
SMM assessed prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide at 322,500 yuan/mt as of Monday September 23, and prices of neodymium oxide at 324,500 yuan/mt.
Prices of dysprosium oxide stood at 1.89 million yuan/mt as of September 23, with those of terbium oxide at 3.9 million yuan/mt, showed SMM assessments.