The monthly Rare Earths MMI® stopped its 3-month fall, registering a value of 29 in July, on par with June’s value – seemingly better news for the likes of producers like Lynas Corp., Molycorp and others.
The rare earth metals index held steady with a spate of metals rising in prices, while others dropped. The price leaders include dysprosium oxide, terbium oxide, and praseodymium oxide, which all saw substantial price increases. Meanwhile, samarium oxide, terbium metal, and neodymium took a big price hit.
“The rare earth market has seen quite a bit of activity this past month due to increasing Japanese demand,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.
So what about global demand for REEs?
“Chinese exports have increased in 2013 compared to 2012, but global demand still remains sluggish, which has hampered price increases,” Reisman continued.
Lynas Corp., a rare earths miner with operations in Malaysia, upon announcing a production capacity win, reiterated in a June 7 statement that “Rare Earths demand will grow at above-GDP rates over the medium term driven by increases in demand from key sectors such as Rare Earths permanent magnets, autocatalysts and fluid cracking catalysts (FCCs), which in aggregate are projected to account for around half of global Rare Earths demand by 2015.”
From the sounds of the following, though, Lynas has been reading MetalMiner: “Nevertheless, the current Rare Earths market remains subdued. Prices this calendar year have continued to fall, although there are now emerging signs of stabilisation in some categories.”
Key Rare Earths Price Drivers
It was a strong month for dysprosium oxide. The metal posted a 31.8 percent increase. The price of terbium oxide jumped 20.8 percent last month. Following a 8.6 percent change in price, europium oxide closed the month higher. Praseodymium neodymium oxide finished the month after gaining 5.8 percent. Praseodymium oxide finished the month up 5.6 percent.
A 34.3 percent decline for samarium oxide left the price devastated. The price of terbium metal fell 24.8 percent. Neodymium prices fell 21.2 percent. After falling 16.0 percent, yttria finished the month lower. Lanthanum oxide prices dropped by 8.5 percent this month. Yttrium was down 5.6 percent for the month. The value of cerium oxide weakened by 1.8 percent this month.
Hovering in place, neodymium oxide remained relatively unchanged. Prices for rare earth carbonate remained pretty much constant this past month also.
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.