SHANGHAI, Apr 28 (SMM) - China imported 12,000 mt of rare earth ore in March, down 11% YoY due to falling imports of medium and heavy rare earth ore.
Rare earth metal ore took the lion’s share of total imports, with a import volume of 11,000 mt, up 6.15% YoY and 17.4% MoM, and all of them came from the United States. In 2022, the capacity of MP mine in the United States was stable, and the mine renewed its contract with Shenghe Group. Due to strong demand from downstream applications and the rising prices of mainstream rare earth products, the unit price of imported rare earth metal ore in March increased by 25.4% month-on-month. It is expected that China's rare earth metal ore imports will maintain a slight increase in April.
Imports of mixed carbonate rare earth ore and unlisted rare earth oxides were 521 mt in March, a year-on-year decrease of 80.55%, but up 150 mt MoM. The imports were mainly from South-east Asian countries. The decline was due to closed China-Myanmar border to contain the spread of the pandemic. The China-Myanmar border was closed again in December 2021.
As the rainy season in South-east Asia is about to arrive, even if the production auxiliary materials can be shipped to Myanmar, the mining situation in the country will not optimistic. It is expected that the import of medium and heavy rare earth ore will decline in April.