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Chinese RE magnet exports rise in February

03 Apr 2018 17:10 (+01:00 GMT)
Chinese RE magnet exports rise in February

Beijing, 3 April (Argus) — China's exports of rare earth permanent magnets rose in February from a year earlier as downstream buyers were eager to replenish stocks to avoid a further rise in prices.

Exports of rare earth magnets rose to 2,589t in February, up by 60.1pc from a year earlier. The average export price rose by 4.5pc to $50/kg year on year.

Month-on-month exports were down by 3.8pc to 2,589t from 2,691t in January, as the week-long lunar new year holiday fell in February this year. The holiday started in late January in 2017. The average export price fell by 7pc from $53.80/kg in January. A number of consumers replenished stocks in January ahead of the holiday in mid-February. Low buying activity from buyers outside China weighed on export prices as exporters reduced their prices to attract more sales.

Exports totalled 5,280t in the first two months of 2018, up by 27.1pc year on year. The average unit price of $51.90/kg was up by 11.9pc from a year earlier. The rise in exports was driven by developments in electric vehicles and renewable energy.

China produces more than 80pc of the world's permanent rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets are widely used in the manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles. The light rare earth element neodymium is the largest rare earth component used in neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, accounting for 67pc. Praseodymium accounts for 22pc. Medium and heavy rare earths occupy a smaller share, with gadolinium at 2pc, dysprosium at 5pc and terbium at 0.2pc.