SHANGHAI, Nov 4 (SMM) – Prices of medium-to-heavy rare earths across Chinese spot markets continued to fall last week, on expectations that supply will increase after the recovery of the access to mixed rare earth carbonate ore in Myanmar.
SMM assessed prices of dysprosium oxide at 1.52-1.55 million yuan/mt as of Friday November 1, down 80,000 yuan/mt from a week ago.
During the same period, prices of terbium oxide dropped 95,000 yuan/mt to 3.5-3.54 million yuan/mt, while those of holmium oxide shed 12,500 yuan/mt to 330,000-340,000 yuan/mt. Prices of gadolinium oxide slipped 3,000 yuan/mt to 157,000-162,000 yuan/mt.
While major producers held their offers generally firm, prospects of greater supply dented market sentiment and kept downstream buyers on the sidelines, leading to thin trading activities.
For light rare earths, prices edged down for the week, as downside was limited by supply reduction with some producers remaining closed.
Prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide rallied somewhat in the middle of last week, as downstream consumers stepped up purchases ahead of the end of October, and ended down 3,000 yuan/mt for the week at 290,000-293,000 yuan/mt.
SMM assessed prices of neodymium oxide at 292,000-295,000 yuan/mt as of November 1, down 3,000 yuan/mt from a week earlier.
Persisting expectations of supply increase will likely keep prices of medium-to-heavy rare earths on a downtrend, unless demand picks up.
Prices of light rare earths, meanwhile, are expected to stabilise at current lows, with a lull in procurement by downstream consumers and a tightening in supply.