Explaining away rare earth metal price drops has become more art than science. Not even one week ago, MetalMiner speculated that rare earth metal prices may have hit the trough only for more drops this past week.
What MetalMiner readers might find most interesting, however, involves which metals dropped in price and somewhat surprisingly, how few of those metals actually relate to Molycorp production. In fact, of the biggest movers on the MetalMiner IndX, Molycorp supplies europium oxide (down 5.7 percent) and samarium oxide (down 34.3%). But many of the others do not make up the Molycorp offering. Nor do they make up the offering of another key rare earth metals player, Lynas Corp.
So what gives? As the previous MetalMiner articles touched upon, Chinese domestic consumption also remains weak while the Chinese have a quite a lot less control over the rare earth monopoly they once ran.
Terbium metal finished as the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® after dropping 40.0 percent. Samarium oxide dropped 34.3 percent over the past week. The price of yttrium decreased by 20.4 percent from the previous week.
Yttria saw an 8.0 percent drop-off this week. Meanwhile, praseodymium neodymium oxide closed down by 7.7 percent. Praseodymium neodymium oxide prices fell several thousand dollars per metric ton from one week ago. Europium oxide weakened by 5.7 percent.
Praseodymium oxide closed out the week down by 2.8 percent. The price of cerium oxide did not change since the previous week. Lanthanum oxide also remained unchanged for the week. Prices for neodymium remained constant.
Following a steady week, prices for neodymium oxide closed flat. Rare earth carbonate traded sideways last week. Terbium oxide prices held steady from the previous 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.