China Stockpiles 10,000 Metric Tons of Rare Earth Elements

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China bought 10,000 metric tons of rare earths in the last week, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News, as the country stockpiles the metals used in batteries and magnets amid international pressure to ease export quotas.

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The State Reserve Bureau paid above-market prices for the rare earths, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the purchases. China accounts for 90 percent of global rare earths production.

China’s move may be an effort to reverse a decline that’s seen the price of at least one rare earth tumble 76 percent from its 2011 high, according to Peng Bo, an analyst at China Merchants Securities Co.

Rare Earths Still Declinging on the Weekly MMI

Closing at CNY 2,800 ($453.08) per kilogram on the weekly Rare Earths MMI®, terbium oxide finished as the week’s biggest mover with a 3.4 percent decline. The price of europium oxide decreased to CNY 3,100 ($501.62) per kilogram, a 3.1 percent decline from the previous week. Cerium oxide fell 2.7 percent over the past week to CNY 18,000 ($2,913) per metric ton.

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At CNY 1,450 ($234.63) per kilogram, the price of dysprosium oxide did not change since the previous week. Lanthanum oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 18,000 ($2,913) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 18,000 ($2,913) per metric ton, lanthanum oxide remained unchanged for the week. Following a steady week, prices for neodymium closed flat at CNY 390,000 ($63,107) per metric ton.

Praseodymium neodymium oxide traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 305,000 ($49,353) per metric ton. Prices for praseodymium oxide remained constant, closing the week at CNY 580,000 ($93,851) per metric ton. Rare earth carbonate prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 25,000 ($4,045) per metric ton. At CNY 18,500 ($2,994) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for samarium oxide.

At CNY 4,200 ($679.61) per kilogram, the price of terbium metal did not change since the previous week. Yttria prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 42,000 ($6,796) per metric ton. Prices for yttrium remained constant, closing the week at CNY 280.00 ($45.31) per kilogram.

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.

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