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Output of Pr-Nd Oxide and Pr-Nd Metal Dropped in July amid the Weak Demand
SHANGHAI, Aug 9 (SMM) - China's output of praseodymium-neodymium (Pr-Nd) oxide in July 2022 stood at 5,750 mt, down 3% MoM. The output reduction mainly comes from Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Fujian, Shandong and other places. In July, the domestic supply was average, and the demand was relatively weak. At present, the mining of ion-type rare earth ore in China, except in Hunan, is relatively less, while the ore output in Myanmar is gradually increasing, hence domestic traders are highly dependent on the sources from Myanmar. In Jiangsu, the output of praseodymium-neodymium oxide decreased by 6% month-on-month as some raw ore separation enterprises stopped their production in July amid the shortage of ore resources, and the production is expected to resume in August. In Jiangxi, the output also declined by 6%. The production of raw ore separation companies stayed stable, while some scrap separation enterprises slightly reduced their production. The output of praseodymium-neodymium oxide in Shandong and Fujian decreased by 5% and 9% respectively. In July, the demand remained weak. The supply of scrap was insufficient, so the metal factories were less willing to purchase amid the losses. China's output of praseodymium-neodymium (Pr-Nd) metal in July 2022 stood at 4,895 mt, down 5% MoM. The output mainly declined in Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi and Guangxi. In July, new orders of magnetic material producers were few, and the rare earth prices were declining, so the demand for praseodymium-neodymium metal remained weak. Orders of metal factories were few, and the cost of electricity increased in summer, hence the output of praseodymium-neodymium metal in Inner Mongolia decreased by 8%. In Baotou, some factories cut their output, but the production of rare earth processing enterprises in the north was temporarily stable. Orders of metal factories in Jiangxi, Guangxi and Chengdu were average, and the output of praseodymium-neodymium metal dropped by 10%, 8% and 43% respectively.
China Rare Earth Ore Imports Dropped 17% YoY in H1 2022
SHANGHAI, Aug 8 (SMM) - China imported a total of 44,827 mt of rare earth ores in first half of 2022, a decrease of 17% YoY. Among them, the imports of rare earth metal ore was 41,243 mt, a year-on-year increase of 15%; mixed rare earth carbonate 1,296 mt, a year-on-year decrease of 62%; and unlisted rare earth oxides 2,289 mt, a year-on-year decrease of 84%. In the first half of this year, the imports of light rare earth ore grew 15% year-on-year, all of which came from MP in the United States. In February and March, the MP operated smoothly, and the import volume rose significantly year-on-year. Due to the equipment maintenance of MP in March and April, the monthly production was reduced by about 30%. In addition, the international situation was complicated and the transportation restriction aggravated, hence the import of rare earth ore contracted in April and May. As such, import increment in the first half was limited. Also in the first half of the year, the import volume of middle and heavy rare earth ore declined 80% year-on-year, with a total import of 3,586 mt, and about 53% was from Myanmar. In detail, no mixed rare earth carbonate was imported from Myanmar from January to June, and 1,895 mt of unlisted rare earth oxides were imported, a year-on-year decline of 85%. Since 2019, the imports of mixed rare earth carbonate from Myanmar decreased year by year. From 2019 to 2021, the proportion of mixed rare earth carbonates imported from Myanmar stood at about 84%, 71%, and 14% respectively. On the other hand, unlisted rare earth oxides from Myanmar account for a relatively large proportion at 84%, 90% and 87% respectively in 2019-2021. Domestic middle and heavy rare earth ore mining quotas have not increased in recent years, and domestic mining is strictly controlled. With the development of the downstream industry, the demand for rare earths is growing rapidly, so the supply of ion ore in China becomes relatively tight. In other words, China is heavily reliant on the imports from Myanmar. The decrease in the imports from Myanmar also caused some domestic separation enterprises that rely on imported ores to reduce or even stop the production. Monazite also contains elements such as praseodymium, neodymium, dysprosium and terbium, which can be processed into chlorinated flakes to be used by separation enterprises. In the first half of 2022, monazite imports amounted to 12,125 mt, a year-on-year decrease of 53%. Among them, 6,219 mt came from Thailand, accounting for 51% of the total. At present, although the supply situation at the mine end is lacklustre, the downstream demand situation is not robust either. Affected by the domestic pandemic and the economic situation, the consumption has contracted. The demand in the first quarter was sound except for the Chinese New Year holiday, and the overall terminal demand declined in the second quarter. In the short term, the terminal demand is still everything but optimistic, and the orders received by magnetic material enterprises declined as a whole, resulted in production curtailment ranging 20-40%. Magnetic material companies created less demand for metal amid falling orders. Coupled with the continuously weakening rare earth market and lack of confidence in the market outlook, the purchase rhythm has slowed down, and magnetic material companies stood wait-and-see while reducing the in-plant stocks.
The prices of PrNd products have been falling for two months mainly due to sluggish demand and poor orders from magnetic material companies. It is heard that some companies have directly or in disguise cancelled the long-term orders, alluding weaker confidence in the market. The PrNd oxide prices fell from a high of 1.1 million yuan/mt this year to 755,000 yuan/mt, a drop of 345,000 yuan/mt and 31.4%. The upstream separation enterprises are not very willing to lower the prices steeply, and it is difficult for the downstream demand to recover either. Some industry players wait and see the list price of Northern Rare Earth this month, which will affect the market confidence to a certain extent. But whether the rare earth market could gain support is still mainly determined by the supply and demand. In 2022, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the first batch of rare earth mining quotas, of which the light rare earth quota rose 20% year-on-year, and the middle and heavy rare earth quota remained unchanged. The second batch of mining quotas has not yet been released, and some industry players are more concerned about the changes in light rare earth quotas in the second half. As for the demand side, the order situation of magnetic material enterprises is greatly affected by the demand in the terminal end. At present, the demand for new energy vehicles is ramping up, while the demand for rare earth permanent magnets in fields such as wind power generation, energy-saving elevators, inverter air conditioners, and consumer electronics has contracted. The overall demand is still not optimistic. Furthermore, the pandemic situation and volatile international dynamics have dragged down the overall economic recovery, and people's consumption capacity could hardly boom.
The future rare earth market will be subject to the development of supply and demand. If the supply increases and the demand side recovers slowly, rare earth prices will remain on the downward track.
Rare Earth Market Continued Sluggish and Prices of Many Rare Earth Products Dropped
SHANGHAI, Aug 4 (SMM) - The rare earth market today continued to be sluggish, and the prices of PrNd products dropped further. The mainstream transaction prices of PrNd oxide stood at 750,000-760,000 yuan/mt, with a few traded at 740,000 yuan/mt. The metal mills were cautious and only purchased on rigid demand at lows. PrNd alloy prices fell along with PrNd oxide prices. The transactions of PrNd alloy were poor with mainstream prices at 920,000-940,000 million yuan/mt. The mainstream prices of gadolinium oxide were 390,000-400,000 yuan/mt, with a small number of trades at low prices and scarce transactions at high prices. The prices of dysprosium and terbium products extended falling slightly. The prices of dysprosium oxide were 2.30-2.32 million yuan/mt, and that of terbium oxide stood between 13.75-13.80 million yuan/mt. The market was quiet with rare actual trasactions. In the spot market today: the prices of PrNd oxide and alloy both fell, and stood at 750,000-760,000 yuan/mt and 920,000-940,000 yuan/mt respectively; dysprosium oxide prices fell to 2.30-2.32 million yuan/mt, dysprosium metal prices stabilised between 3.05-3.1 million yuan/mt, and dysprosium iron prices declined to 2.30-2.32 million yuan/mt; prices of terbium oxide and metal were lowered to 13.75-13.8 million yuan/mt and 17.45-17.5 million yuan/mt respectively; gadolinium oxide was mainly traded between 390,000-400,000 million yuan/mt, and gadolinium iron 3870,000-380,000 yuan/mt; prices of erbium oxide declined to 310,000-320,000 yuan/mt. Due to the continued weak downstream demand, the new orders of magnetic material companies were insufficient, which led to less purchasing interest in PrNd alloy. As the raw material of PrNd alloy, PrNd oxide also saw a reducing demand. Some metal mills only restocked as needed and the actual trades were poor. Some traders were cautious on the sidelines with bearish sentiments towards the market outlook.
Rare Earth Prices Keep Falling Today amid Weak Terminal Demand
SHANGHAI, Aug 2 (SMM) - The light rare earth market extended the weakness today, with prices of PrNd oxide and alloy falling further. Separation companies were not very enthusiastic in making offers. The mainstream prices of PrNd oxide stood at 770,000-780,000 yuan/mt. A small number of transactions were made at low prices, while transactions with high prices were suppressed. Metal factories were cautiously on the sidelines, and purchased on rigid demand in small amount. Magnetic material companies showed little purchase interest as the downstream demand was weak, and some companies reduced the production by 30%. The prices of dysprosium and terbium oxide dropped slightly to 2.32-2.33 million yuan/mt, and 13.8-13.9 million yuan/mt respectively. Gadolinium oxide prices fell along with PrNd oxide, and the mainstream prices were lowered to 400,000-410,000 yuan/mt, with few actual transactions. The prices of PrNd oxide and alloy both fell, and stood at 770,000-780,000 yuan/mt and 945,000-950,000 yuan/mt respectively. Dysprosium oxide prices fell to 2.32-2.33 million yuan/mt, today, and dysprosium metal prices stabilised between 3.05-3.1 million yuan/mt; dysprosium iron prices declined to 2.32-2.33 million yuan/mt. Prices of terbium oxide and metal stood at 13.8-13.9 million yuan/mt and 17.5-17.6 million yuan/mt respectively. Gadolinium oxide was traded between 400,000-410,000 million yuan/mt today, and gadolinium iron 380,000-390,000 yuan/mt.
Rare Earth Prices Dropped as A Whole with Poor Terminal Demand in July
SHANGHAI, Aug 1 (SMM) - As of July 29, the mainstream prices of PrNd oxide were lowered to 800,000-810,000 yuan/mt, down 13% from 930,000 yuan/mt at the beginning of the month. The prices of PrNd alloy also dropped to 970,000-980,000 yuan/mt, down 14% from 1.13 million yuan/mt early in July. Since the pandemic outbreak in the second quarter, the terminal demand for rare earths weakened. Coupled with the slow recovery of the general environment and economic situation, and the limited increase in downstream consumption, the orders received by magnetic material companies decreased to varying degrees. Therefore, despite upstream cost support and tight supply, rare earth prices were still on the downward track in July. The prices of PrNd oxide bottomed out approaching the month-end to 820,000-820,000 yuan/mt, followed by PrNd alloy whose prices rose to 0.99-1 million yuan/mt. However, after a short-lived rally, the prices were back to the downward trajectory. Cost: On July 29, the prices of scrap excluding tax were lowered from 900,000 yuan/mt at the beginning of the month to 780,000 yuan/mt, a collective drop of 13%. The decline in scrap prices was mainly due to falling PrNd oxide prices, which resulted in losses of scrap enterprises and. The supply of scrap remained tight. Supply: Chinaâs ore imports totalled 7,347 mt in June, up 55.3% MoM. Among them, 6,786 mt of light rare earth ore were imported, and 561 mt of middle and heavy rare earth ore. Domestic light rare earth mines operated normally, while ion mines in south China maintained low operating rates except those in Hunan Province. Therefore, the supply of middle and heavy ion ores was still insufficient, and the supply of light rare earth ores was moderate. Demand: The orders of magnetic material companies did not improve in July, and the spot purchases in the market were relatively scarce. Dropping rare earth prices also prompted enterprises to reduce their in-plant stocks. The order volume of magnetic material enterprises decreased to varying degrees. The top-tier enterprises suffered less. The orders of some large manufacturers fell around 20%, and some small and medium-sized magnetic material enterprises 30-40%. Due to the limited terminal demand, the competitive pressure of magnetic material enterprises increased. Market sentiment: Most of the industry players were not optimistic about the market in July. The rare earth prices were already on the downward track in June, and the industry players worried that the demand side would be difficult to recover, hence purchased with cautiousness. In addition, the terminal demand for rare earths remained weak, and the orders from magnetic material companies were relatively small, resulting in few spot demand for PrNd alloy. Separation companies intended to sell at high prices, but lacked support with the absence of market confidence. Metal factories and magnetic material companies were strongly wait-and-see, and less enthusiastic about purchasing raw materials. To sum up, although the cost and supply offered some support for the rare earth prices, the weak downstream demand and insufficient orders weighed on the overall performance of the rare earth market in July.
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