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Rare Earths Market Update 2023#15 Insufficient materials and lackluster development, China to Strengthen Export Controls

The overall rare-earth market showed signs of decline in late October and early November 2023. On November 7, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that it would tighten rare-earth export controls, raising concerns about the impact on future market conditions.

 

■China's Rare Earths Index Trends Slightly Lower

 

The Association of China Rare Earths industry, a rare earths industry group in China, announced on October 31 that the average value of its rare earths index was 227.3, almost unchanged from 227.1 in September. The index was 222.3678 on November 7.

 

China Rare Earths Index in October

(Source: Association of China Rare Earth Industry)

 

In China, the Ministry of Commerce announced on its website on November 7 that it has added rare earths to the list of export controls for trade, requiring exporters to report them.

 

Related article: China to Tighten Rare Earth Export Controls for Two Years; Import Restrictions on Crude Oil, Iron Ore, and Other Resources | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

 

■Neodymium and dysprosium fell slightly, but the downside was firm.

 

Many ore grades in the world were subdued during the period due to lackluster movement in China. The market analysis showed that "buyers already have enough inventory and do not need to rush to buy, while the suppliers are maintaining a price-maintaining stance in anticipation of future order growth" (Asian Metal, a media outlet specializing in metals).

 

Price Trend of Neodymium Metal (99% FOB China)($/Kg)

 

Neodymium metal, a leading material for magnets, fell 0.5% from the previous day to $89.5/kg at the mid-market price on Oct. 26, and after a brief rise to $91 in mid-October, it was unable to maintain the $90 level. Since then, the price has remained flat.

 

Price Trend of Dysprosium Metal (99.5% FOB China)($/Kg)

 

Price Trend of Terbium Metal (99% FOB China)($/Kg)

 

Dysprosium metal and terbium metal also saw similar movements. Both companies saw a small drop on October 26 from levels that had been in place since late September. The lack of movement since then has been similar to that of neodymium metal, and the lower levels have been supported to a certain extent.

 

■Lanthanum have not moved since early September

 

Metal Lanthanum Price Trends (99% FOB China)(S/Kg)

 

 Metal lanthanum have been flat at $3.65/kg mid-price since September 7, at the lowest level in almost 18 years since 2005, but there has been no further selling activity.

 

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November 7.

 

 China's trade statistics for January-October 2023 released by the General Administration of Customs on November 7 show that total rare earth imports rose 37.4% y/y to $1.3 billion, a deceleration from the 42.7% growth rate in January-September. Total exports fell 27.7% y/y to $900 million, with the rate of decline widening from 23.7% in January-September.

 

Related articles: China's Rare-Earth Imports Still Slow in Jan-Oct; Exports Also Sluggish, Firms Suffer | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

 

November 5

 Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura each visited Southeast Asia in early November. In Vietnam, Minister Nishimura discussed rare earth cooperation and other issues with the Vietnamese authorities.

 

Related article: METI, Philippines Sign MOU on Mining Supply Prime Minister Kishida and METI Minister Nishimura Visit Southeast Asia | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

 

October 31

 A major Australian rare earths company is suspected of being taken over by a Chinese company. Australia's Northern Minerals, concerned about the activities of a certain Chinese investor in its shares, has asked the Foreign Investment Review Board to investigate and provide assistance.

 

Related article: Australian Rare Earths Company Northern Minerals Requests Investigation by Foreign Investment Review Board to Resolve Chinese Investor Issue | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

 

October 26

 Foreign media reported on October 26 that Vietnamese police authorities have arrested six people accused of violating mining regulations, including the chairman of a company. The company is said to be at the forefront of the creation of the rare-earth industry.

 

See also: Vietnam Arrests Rare Earth Industry Officials as Competition with China Casts Shadow | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

 

Translated from the original article in Japanese:レアアース市場近況2023#15 材料不足でさえない展開、中国が輸出管理強化へ

 

 

(IR Universe Kure, translated by S. Aoyama)

 

 

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