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China’s Southern Rare Earth ups Tb, Ho, Gd, Dy prices

Chinese medium and heavy rare earths producer Southern Rare Earth has continued to raise its weekly prices for terbium, holmium, gadolinium and dysprosium, supported by a shortage of spot supplies and firmer magnet demand.

Restocking demand from magnet manufacturing plants started to recover from mid-October because of limited rare earth feedstock inventories and a rise in magnet sales.

Rapid developments in China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) industry has fuelled consumption of rare earth permanent magnets and bolstered rare earth feedstock prices, such as praseodymium-neodymium, dysprosium, terbium, gadolinium and holmium. Most rare earth separation and metal processing plants have sold out of production until early 2021, tightening spot supplies and pushing up domestic prices further.

China’s NEV industry began to recover in the second quarter of this year from the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, which started in late January, supported by government stimulus measures to encourage production and sales of such vehicles.

The country’s state council has announced a development plan for the NEV industry during 2021-25, targeting a 20pc share of NEVs in the country’s total vehicles sales by 2025, up from the market share of only 4.7pc in 2019.

Argus assessed the range for 99.99pc terbium oxide at more than an eight-year high of 6,170-6,220 yuan/kg ($939-946/kg) ex-works today, up by 28pc from mid-October. Prices for 99.5pc holmium oxide moved up by 35pc from mid-October to Yn560,000-570,000/t ex-works today, the highest level since Argus launched the assessment on 1 June this year.

Renewed demand from major rare earth and downstream metal processing plants prompted suppliers to raise dysprosium prices. The range for 99.5pc dysprosium oxide rose to Yn1,910-1,940/kg ex-works today, up from the 15 October assessment of Yn1,620-1,640/kg ex-works after slumping from a year-to-date high of Yn1,930-1,950/kg ex-works on 29 June.

Argus assessed the range for 99.5-99.9pc gadolinium oxide unchanged from 25 November at Yn183,000-186,000/t ex-works today following a Yn12,000/t rise from mid-November, driven by tightening spot supplies and rising spot purchases.

Southern Rare Earth’s weekly listed prices unit (Yn/kg)
Products 30-Nov 23-Nov change %
Samarium oxide 12.0 12.0 0.0
Europium oxide 300.0 300.0 0.0
Gadolinium oxide 182.0 176.0 3.0
Terbium oxide 6,100.0 5,800.0 5.0
Dysprosium oxide 1,960.0 1,950.0 0.5
Holmium oxide 550.0 505.0 9.0
Erbium oxide 17.0 17.0 0.0
Ytterbium oxide 10.0 10.0 0.0
Luterium oxide 4,750.0 4,750.0 0.0
Yttrium oxide 22.0 22.0 0.0

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