Rare earth prices in China hit 7-week high on post-holiday restocking

04:38 PM @ Tuesday - 16 April, 2024

Rare earths prices in top producer China jumped to their highest in more than seven weeks on Monday on a wave of post-holiday restocking among buyers, before easing slightly on Tuesday.

China accounts for 70% of rare earths mining and 90% of refined output, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The price of praseodymium oxide, one of the most widely used light rare earth elements, climbed by 9.7% week-on-week and 9.1% month-on-month, respectively, to 395,000 yuan a ton on Monday, the highest since Feb. 21, data from information provider Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) showed.

Meanwhile, the price of terbium oxide, one of the most widely used heavy rare earth elements, jumped by over 14% both on the week and on the month to 6,150 yuan a kilogram, the highest since Jan. 9, according to SMM data.

Rare earths are a group of 17 elements used in products from lasers and military equipment to magnets found in electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

Some magnetic materials producers returned to the spot market to replenish raw material supplies after China’s Tomb Sweeping Day having almost run out of in-plant stocks, said analysts.

Available spot cargoes were also somewhat reduced after some ore cargo holders used resources at hand as collateral to raise capital from banks to ease their financial strain, contributing to price increases, said SMM analyst Yang Jiawen.

There are also expectations of a seasonal reduction in ore from major supplier Myanmar after its rainy season starts.

Several Chinese magnetic materials producers chose to stop signing long-term contracts and depend more on the spot market for rare earth materials this year, SMM’s Yang said.

But this may increase price volatility of rare earth, especially during the peak demand season, Yang added.

Share prices in China Northern Rare Earth (Group) High-Tech Co., a major rare earth producer, rose about 4.3% to 21.6 yuan on Tuesday.   – mining.com