Lynas Corp Expects Shortages, Terbium Oxide Price Drops on Rare Earths MMI®

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Three rare earth oxides fell on our weekly metal price index, indicating the confluence of several factors still affecting the complex’s sustained fall.

Terbium oxide saw a 9.0 percent decline this week, making it the biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI®.

Firstly, end-user demand appears down for REEs, which partly contributed to China’s Baotou Steel Rare-Earth net profit dropping 56% last year, and Minmetals Rare Earth Company losing 74% of its net profit last year as well. Secondly, things are moving along for new supply coming online globally, with Lynas Corp. finally producing material in one of its newer Malaysia plants (although the outcome of Malaysian elections on May 5 could stymie efforts for its new mine-to-market plant).

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However, the company “projects that rare earth demand will grow at above-GDP rates over the medium term, driven by increases in demand from key sectors, and that by the end of the decade there will be supply shortages in neodymium, praseodymium and lanthanum,” according to a Rare Earth Investing News article.

Even still, the overall downward trendline in our monthly Rare Earths MMI® is due to weakness in only a handful of metals. As we wrote last month, the fact that that the price drops continue to impact only a handful of rare earth metals tells us to apply caution to any press or pundit statements slamming the entire sector.

We see price weakness in specific metals based upon the supply and demand fundamentals for that particular metal, but other rare earth metal prices remain well-supported, indicating a market in greater balance.

Current Rare Earth Prices

The past week saw europium oxide close after a 6.2 percent decline. Dysprosium oxide dropped 5.6 percent over the past week.

Cerium oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week. Following a steady week, prices for lanthanum oxide closed flat. Prices for lanthanum oxide remained constant. The price of neodymium did not change since the previous week.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXMuch of the rest of the rare earths complex held flat for the week.

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. 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.