SHANGHAI, Mar 23 (SMM) – Transactions of medium-to-heavy rare earth oxides, such as dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide, slowed last week with enquiries declining from the prior week. Upstream producers, however, were unwilling to sell at lower prices, and this underpinned prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth.
Demand for rare earth may continue to face potential impact from the coronavirus, but costs will lend some support to rare earth prices, SMM estimates. In the long run, bullish prospects for China’s infrastructure development and more stimulus measures for its new energy vehicle market are expected to lift consumption of rare earth and revive the market.
A meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee held earlier this month called for accelerated efforts to build “new infrastructure”, such as the 5G network, charging piles for NEVs, data centres and artificial intelligence. China will also build smart cities as part of the new infrastructure push.
SMM does not expect further steep declines in NEV production and sales in the months ahead.
According to SMM assessments, prices of dysprosium oxide stood at 1.87-1.9 million yuan/mt as of March 23, down 10,000 yuan/mt from a half-year high last week. Prices of terbium oxide eased 30,000 yuan/mt on Monday to 4.22-4.27 million yuan/mt, after prices stabilising at an average 4.245 million yuan/mt over the past two weeks.
In terms of light rare earth products, prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide slipped 1,000 yuan/mt on March 23 to 270,000-274,000 yuan/mt, down 2,000 yuan/mt from a high level last week.