SHANGHAI, Mar 24 (SMM)—The rare earth market was generally stable last week with slight fluctuation in praseodymium and neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium. Separation plants held quotations high, and were less willing to ship good. Inquiries of metal plants and magnetic materials plants was flat, and transactions were scarce amid the overall wait-and-see sentiment. Some companies expect the price of neodymium praseodymium oxide to rise to 700,000 yuan/mt in H1 2021, while some market participants believe that price will fluctuate around 600,000 yuan/mt.
Light rare earth: Quotations of praseodymium and neodymium products rose slowly to 575,000-580,000 yuan/mt on March 19, an average price increase of 6,500 yuan/mt from early last week. Praseodymium and neodymium metals were quoted at 720,000-730,000 yuan/mt, few quoted at 740,000 yuan/mt, and the average price increased by 10,000 yuan/mt during the week. Some smelting and separation companies in Sichuan were still in short of praseodymium and neodymium spot, and they barely sold out self-produced praseodymium and neodymium oxide, in order to ensure the raw material supply for subsidiary metal plants. The quotations of lanthanum and cerium stood generally stable last week. The weekly average price of lanthanum metal increased by 400 yuan/mt to 29,500 yuan/mt on the week, and the mainstream price of cerium metal was 29,500-31,500 yuan/mt, flat from the previous week.
Medium and heavy rare earth: Quotations of gadolinium oxide dropped significantly to 236,000 to 240,000 yuan/mt as of March 19, and the weekly average price was lowered by 990 yuan/mt from the previous week. According to some smelting and separation plants, the current transaction price of gadolinium oxide has been lowered to 220,000 yuan/mt. As of March 19, the quotations of terbium oxide rose to 9,900-9,950 yuan/kg, with the average price up 75 yuan/kg from early last week, and the quotations of dysprosium oxide rose to 3,010-3,030 yuan/kg, with the average price up 30/kg during the week. Holders of terbium and dysprosium are generally optimistic about the market, and expect that terbium oxide prices will rise to 12,000 yuan/kg, and dysprosium oxide prices will rise to 4,000 yuan/kg in the first half of the year.
Among the listing prices for medium and heavy rare earth announced by Southern Rare Earth last week, the average price of terbium oxide increased by 50,000 yuan/mt to 9.9 million yuan/mt on the week, the average price of dysprosium oxide increased by 40,000 yuan/mt to 3.08 million yuan on the week, the average price of lutetium oxide increased by 20,000 yuan/mt from the previous week to 5.35 million yuan/mt, the average price of gadolinium oxide decreased by 13,000 yuan/mt to 234,500 yuan/mt week on week, and the average price of holmium oxide was lowered by 50,000 yuan/mt to 50,000 yuan/mt from the previous week. The prices of other medium and heavy rare earth oxides remained unchanged.
In the fierce competition between upstream and downstream companies, the downstream acceptance of high raw material prices will be the focus. SMM expects that the prices of neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium will remain fluctuating at high levels and go up slightly this week, while the prices of gadolinium, yttrium, holmium, will run at relatively lower levels.
For more information on the rare earth industry and markets, please subscribe to China Rare Earth Weekly.