SHANGHAI, Mar 31 (SMM) – Prices of light and medium-to-heavy rare earth products mostly declined last week as the widespread COVID-19 overseas weakened investors’ prospects for demand and kept domestic consumers from purchasing.
Market participants expected lower orders from the downstream magnetic materials plants as enquiries slowed.
In the light rare earth market, prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide were assessed at 267,000-271,000 yuan/mt as of March 31, 3,000 yuan/mt lower from a week earlier. Prices of neodymium oxide declined 2,000 yuan/mt on the week to 288,000-291,000 as of March 31, 8,000 yuan/mt lower from the beginning of March.
Prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth, including dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide, also fell significantly last week, as producers stepped up shipments at lower prices when the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined downstream consumers.
SMM assessments showed that prices of dysprosium oxide at 1.8-1.84 million yuan/mt on March 31, down 65,000 yuan/mt from a week earlier and down 75,000 yuan/mt from a six-month high struck on around March 19. Prices of terbium oxide were assessed at 4.08-4.12 million yuan/mt as of March 31, 125,000 yuan/mt lower from a week ago and 225,000 yuan/mt lower from a more than three-year high of 4.325 million yuan/mt on March 4-6.
SMM expects the concerns about virus uncertainties to keep near-term prices of rare earth products under pressure, but prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth oxides may find some support from the continued supply tightness of ores.