Lynas Corp, Rare Earths Prices Crashing Long and Hard: Monthly Index Falls Again

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If a picture tells a thousand words, then this one showing Lynas Corp’s stock price over the past year sure does the job for the rare earths metals and oxides sector over the past year:

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg

Lynas Corp. shares plummeted 9.1 percent to 15 Australian cents yesterday, with the total yearly decline now clocking in at a whopping 49 percent, according to Bloomberg. Now, having blown a billion dollars on a rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, Lynas is trying to offload a bunch of debt.

Compare with last month’s trends – here’s our free April MMI® Report.

“If there’s any price weakness, a slowdown in the Chinese economy, or a slowdown in demand for rare earths, than how long does it buy them? It’s hard to know,” UBS AG analyst Jo Battershill told Bloomberg.

The Lynas crash was, of course, precipitated by still-falling rare earths prices, and MetalMiner’s Rare Earths MMI® proved no exception, registering a value of 31 in May, a decrease of 3.1 percent from 32 in April.

Rare-Earths_Chart_May-2014_FNL

Some standout losers: lanthanum oxide tanked 9.1 percent, yttria bottomed 8.3 percent, europium oxide dropped 3.6 percent and neodymium faltered 2.4 percent. (Exact prices for all rare earths tracked by the MetalMiner IndX℠ below.)

Many in the rare earths space are calling the bottom of rare earths prices, among them Chris Ecclestone, principal and mining strategist at Hallgarten & Company.

What This Means for Rare Earths Buyers

Now seems as good a time as any to stock up, folks, at what seem like bargain-basement prices – however, if China is forced to allow even more exports, further saturating the already oversupplied lanthanum and cerium markets, among others, we may see even lower prices to come.

Complete Rare Earths Prices This Month

Following a 9.1 percent decline in price, lanthanum oxide finished the month at $3,195 per metric ton. At $8,787 per metric ton, yttria was down 8.3 percent for the month. Cerium oxide prices fell 4.5 percent to $3,355 per metric ton. The price of europium oxide closed the month at $647.06 per kilogram after dropping 3.6 percent. Dysprosium oxide closed the month at $263.62 per kilogram after dropping 2.9 percent. Last month, neodymium prices dropped by 2.4 percent to $66,304 per metric ton.

The price of samarium oxide held steady around $2,956 per metric ton last month. At a price of $46.33 per kilogram, yttrium did not budge the entire month. Terbium oxide held pat last month at $511.26 per kilogram. Hovering around $734.94 per kilogram for the month, terbium metal remained unchanged. Rare earth carbonate traded sideways last month, staying around $3,994 per metric ton. Praseodymium oxide experienced a flat month, staying around $92,666 per metric ton. Last month was consistent for praseodymium neodymium oxide, which did not move from $51,925 per metric ton. Prices for neodymium oxide remained constant this past month, holding at around $51,126 per metric ton.

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.

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