SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (SMM) - China's rare earth exports came in at 3,955 mt in July, down 1.4% on the month, but up 144.2% on the year. The average export price of rare earth stood at $16,460/mt in July, up 23% on the month and 5% on the year.
Exports declined month on month in July as holders held back cargoes due to tight supply in July and overseas summer break.
Prices of mainstream rare earth products rose sharply on the month, which was passed through to overseas market, leading to an increase in the average exported price month on month. For example, the average monthly price of neodymium praseodymium oxide in China was 557,000 yuan/mt in July, up 18% from the previous month; the average monthly price of neodymium praseodymium metal was 694,000 yuan/mt, up 19% month on month.
Exports rose 144.2% on the year in 2021 due to a low base in 2020 on Covid-19 pandemic.
The average export price rose only 5% on the year in July amid small price fluctuations of lanthanum and cerium products, which account for the largest proportion of exports. For instance, the average prices of lanthanum oxide and cerium oxide fell by 19% and 15% year on year respectively, while the praseodymium and neodymium oxide increased nearly 90% year on year. In contrast, the prices of lanthanum and cerium appeared to be sluggish.
Tight domestic supply is unlikely to ease as imports of ionic mines in Myanmar have been hindered by worsening pandemic, combined with environmental protection restrictions as well as the new round of COVID-19 pandemic spreading in China.
China's rare earth exports are expected to weaken further month on month in August.