Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Group, a state-sponsored rare earths conglomerate, recently reported first-quarter sales tumbled 53% leading to a 72% plunge in profits from the year-ago period. The Motley Fool points out that although IMBSREG tried to blame the poor performance in part on the ruling made by the World Trade Organization that China’s export quotas violated global trade laws, as the decision was handed down at the end of March, its impact could only have been marginal at most on the results, but does signal that there may be further weakness on the horizon.
A contraction in the rare earths market could be bad news for major US players, such as Molycorp, as well.
Lanthanum oxide dropped to CNY 20,000 ($3,198) per metric ton making it the biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® this week, after drifting 4.8 percent. The price of cerium oxide decreased to CNY 21,000 ($3,358) per metric ton, a 4.5 percent decline from the previous week. Europium oxide prices fell to CNY 4,050 ($647.69) per kilogram, down from CNY 4,200 ($674.19) a week ago.
Dysprosium oxide saw a 2.9 percent decline over the past week to CNY 1,650 ($263.87) per kilogram. Closing at CNY 415,000 ($66,368) per metric ton, neodymium remained unchanged for the week. Neodymium prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 415,000 ($66,368) per metric ton. At CNY 320,000 ($51,175) per metric ton, the price of neodymium oxide did not change since the previous week.
At CNY 580,000 ($92,755) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for praseodymium oxide. Prices for rare earth carbonate remained constant, closing the week at CNY 25,000 ($3,998) per metric ton. At CNY 18,500 ($2,959) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for samarium oxide. Terbium metal prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 4,600 ($735.65) per kilogram.
Terbium oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 3,200 ($511.75) per kilogram. At CNY 55,000 ($8,796) per metric ton, the price of yttria did not change since the previous week. Closing at CNY 290.00 ($46.38) per kilogram, yttrium remained unchanged 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.