SHANGHAI, Dec 16 (SMM) – Prices of most rare-earth oxides in China continued an upward trend last week on the back of overall consumption recovery, but the price growth slowed from a week earlier as some buyers remained cautious about procuring at high prices.
As of December 13, prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide rose to an average 291,500 yuan/mt, from 289,500 yuan/mt on December 6; average prices of neodymium oxide climbed to 293,500 yuan/mt, from 291,500 yuan/mt, SMM assessed.
Prices of dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide, advanced 30,000 yuan/mt and 20,000 yuan/mt, respectively, during the same period to an average 1.72 million yuan/mt and 3.49 million yuan/mt as of December 13.
Downstream magnetic material producers maintained on-demand purchases while most producers firmed up offers in anticipations of greater demand. Cheap cargoes were hardly found in the spot market.
Higher prices of dysprosium oxide lifted the prices of dysprosium-ferrum alloy, but a limited pickup in demand capped the increase in Dy-Fe alloy prices, which stood at an average 1.69 million yuan/mt as of December 13, up 20,000 yuan/mt on the week.
SMM forecasts rare earth oxide producers to hold offers firm in the weeks ahead on expectations of downstream stockpiling before the Chinese New Year holiday.
But overall procurement volumes into year-end will face pressure from cash-flow burdens at downstream companies, which may cap any upward room in near-term prices of rare earth oxide.