China has scrapped its quota system restricting exports of rare earth minerals after losing a World Trade Organization (WTO) case.
Beijing imposed the restriction in 2009 while it tried to develop its own industry for the 17 minerals. Last year, a WTO panel ruled that China had failed to show the export quotas were justified. China is estimated to be responsible for 90% of RE production, despite only having a third of the world’s deposits.
The change was detailed in China’s Ministry of Commerce trade guidelines, issued at the end of December.
Under the new guidelines, rare earths will still require an export license but the amount that can be sold abroad will no longer be covered by a quota.
The US, the European Union and Japan had complained that China was limiting exports in a bid to drive up prices.
The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI® was the price of terbium oxide, which saw a 1.6% decline to CNY 3,100 ($499.64) per kilogram. This comes on the heels of a 3.3% increase the week before. Dysprosium oxide saw a 1.3% decline over the past week to CNY 1,530 ($246.60) per kilogram. At CNY 12,500 ($2,015) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for cerium oxide.
Europium oxide prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 1,650 ($265.94) per kilogram. At CNY 13,000 ($2,095) per metric ton, the price of lanthanum oxide did not change since the previous week. Prices for lanthanum oxide remained constant, closing the week at CNY 13,000 ($2,095) per metric ton. Neodymium traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 352,000 ($56,733) per metric ton.
Following a steady week, prices for praseodymium neodymium oxide closed flat at CNY 285,000 ($45,934) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 410,000 ($66,081) per metric ton, praseodymium oxide remained unchanged for the week. Rare earth carbonate remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 25,000 ($4,029) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for samarium oxide closed flat at CNY 17,000 ($2,740) per metric ton.
At CNY 4,000 ($644.69) per kilogram, the price of terbium metal did not change since the previous week. Yttria remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 34,000 ($5,480) per metric ton. Yttrium traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 270.00 ($43.52) 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.