The Rare Earths MMI® has earned the dubious distinction of MetalMiner’s Worst-Performing MMI of 2012.
The monthly rare earth metals price index registered a value of 46 in January, a decrease of 4.2 percent from 48 in December.
“We still see across-the-board price drops for light and heavy rare earth metals,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “This indicates to us that ample supply exists globally and new production that has come on-stream has created additional downward price pressure.”
Our friend Gareth Hatch over at Technology Metals Research recently covered the 2013 China rare earth export allocations and suggests that because actual export levels fell below export quotas, the drop in demand and new sources of supply may mean the Chinese authorities could move to further limit export quotas. Second half of the year quotas have yet to be released.
But the reduction of export quotas remains problematic for the Chinese government. Though a reduction may help shore up the price and provide a floor, it keeps fewer mining companies in operation. Healthy profits may equate to healthy companies, but keeping people employed plays a large part in China policy actions.
Primary Drivers of Rare Earths Index Decline
The neodymium oxide price dropped 3.6 percent. Yttrium dropped only very slightly.
The Rare Earths MMI® collects and weights 14 global rare earth metal price points to provide a unique view into rare earth metal price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Rare Earths MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.