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China's Northern Rare Earth raises Pr, Nd prices

02 Feb 2018 12:55 GMT
China's Northern Rare Earth raises Pr, Nd prices

Beijing, 2 February (Argus) — China's largest light rare earth producer, state-owned Northern Rare Earth, has raised its February listed prices for praseodymium and neodymium, as spot market availability tightened.

The company raised its February listed price for 99pc praseodymium-neodymium oxide to 332,000 yuan/t ($52,830/t) from Yn328,000/t for January. Suppliers were reluctant to sell 99pc oxide below Yn335,000/t in response to low inventories and expectations of price rises after the lunar new year holidays. Argus assessed prices for 99pc oxide unchanged at Yn330,000-345,000/t ex-works on 1 February.

Northern Rare Earth's February listed price for 99pc praseodymium-neodymium metal moved up to Yn429,000/t from Yn425,000/t a month earlier. Producers have raised their spot prices since mid-December, as a result of increased enquiries from the magnet sector and higher costs, despite price falls in late January amid sufficient feedstock. Argus' assessed prices for 99pc metal were stable at Yn425,000-435,000/t ex-works yesterday.

The company set its February listed price for 99.5-99.9pc neodymium oxide at Yn332,000/t, up from Yn328,000/t for January. The price rose amid tight spot availability, as suppliers were unwilling to separate single neodymium and praseodymium as a result of high costs. Argus assessed prices for 99.5-99.9pc neodymium oxide unchanged at Yn335,000-350,000/t ex-works on 1 February.

Northern Rare Earth's listed price for 99pc neodymium metal rose to Yn429,000/t ex-works for February from Yn425,000/t a month earlier, in line with reduced supply and the rise in praseodymium-neodymium metal prices. Argus assessed prices for 99pc neodymium metal stable at Yn425,000-440,000/t ex-works yesterday.

Listed prices for 99.9pc lanthanum oxide and 99.9pc cerium oxide this month were unchanged from September at Yn15,500/t, as a result of thin spot buying. Downstream buyers from catalyst and glass polishing sectors were not eager to replenish material and remained well-stocked.

Prices for 99.9pc lanthanum oxide were assessed unchanged at Yn13,800-14,500/t ex-works, and for 99.9pc cerium oxide at Yn13,400-14,100/t ex-works on 1 February. A few spot suppliers wanted to sell material at lower prices this week in an attempt to boost sales and reduce inventories.

Northern Rare Earth is the country's largest producer of light elements and many buyers and sellers use its listed prices as a reference for wider spot transactions.