Rare earth market steps into the upward channel
In mid-November, the rare earth market changed its continuous downward trend since the fourth quarter of this year and began to rebound. Up to now, the price of rare earth oxides has increased by about 2% compared with the beginning of the year; the price of rare earth metals has risen and fallen year by year, with fluctuations ranging from 3% to 10%.
According to industry insiders, with the in-depth development of national special inspections and local governments in the main producing areas, unplanned over-production, unlicensed exploration and mining, and illegal trading of rare earth products have been curbed. At the same time, the large-scale enterprise group's willingness to produce, the market supply is getting tighter, and it is expected that the price of rare earth will continue to rise steadily before the end of the year.
The price is rising steadily
According to industry insiders, this year, the national rare earth market is generally sluggish, downstream demand is weak, and factory shipments are scarce. During the period, the market only showed a round of rising prices from May to June, but it was also a short-lived one. Since the fourth quarter, the rare earth market has entered the downward channel of shocks, and the price down has not boosted the enthusiasm for procurement, and merchants generally hold a wait-and-see attitude. However, since mid-November, the market has gradually warmed up, and some products have fully bottomed out and prices have risen steadily.
Up to now, the average price of representative rare earth products is: rare earth mineral raw materials rare earth carbonate 23,000 yuan (ton price, the same below), yttrium oxide 13,300 yuan, cerium oxide 12,800 yuan, cerium oxide 395,500 yuan, cerium oxide 31.15 million yuan, 31.60 million yuan of antimony oxide, 1,162,500 yuan of antimony metal, 397,500 yuan of metal, 660,000 yuan of metal, and 1.625 million of metal. In particular, the price of rare earth oxides rose by about 2% from the beginning of the year.
Domestic rare earth prices have stabilized and rebounded, and export prices have also been supported.
According to the chief expert of China Rare Earth Information Center, the average price of China's rare earth products exported to the United States has risen from US$10.24 million in July to US$11.98 million in mid-November.
Why is the rare earth market heating up?
Experts in the industry believe that this aspect is related to the recent special rectification of the rare earth industry order initiated by relevant state departments and local governments. The illegal production of illegal and illegal production has rapidly decreased, boosting the price of rare earths to rebound.
According to reports, from October 30 to November 30, eight inspectors from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Natural Resources and other ministries went to various places, and launched the main producing areas of rare earths in Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Fujian, Hunan. Special inspections in 8 provinces and regions including Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan. Prior to this, the six departments of the rare earth production province of Jiangxi jointly issued a special action document on rare earth blackening, and special inspections were carried out from September 2018 to January 2019. As the regulatory effect is increasingly apparent, the supply of raw ore resources in the upper reaches of the rare earth industry has shrunk, stimulating the expected rise in downstream products.
On the other hand, the price increase of rare earth is also related to environmental protection inspectors nationwide. Rare earth production has special characteristics, especially the radiation hazard of some products makes environmental protection supervision stricter. Under the strict environmental inspection, the rare earth separation enterprises in several provinces have stopped production, resulting in a decline in the market for rare earth oxides, which makes the prices of rare earth products firm.
The reporter also learned in the interview that the price of the enterprise is also an important factor in the rise of rare earth prices.
At the critical moment in early November, when the price of rare earth fell below the cost price, the large group maintained its stability, and the cost support coupled with the price of the enterprise made the price of the product represented by rare earth oxide and some functional materials reverse.
The market outlook or continued good
Professionals in the industry said that the special supervision of the eight-sector rare earth industry order rectification led by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will continue until November 30, and the local rectification action plans issued by the provinces and regions of the major producing areas of rare earths have mostly extended to 2019. The inspector has demonstrated the characteristics of strong pertinence, comprehensive scope of verification projects, and extensive regional coverage. Therefore, the scope of enterprises that stop production of rare earths will expand, and the supply will be difficult to enlarge in the short term, and the market will continue to improve in the latter stage.
Professionals are also optimistic about the rare earth market. At the end of the year, according to the conventional, the downstream magnetic materials enterprises in the fourth quarter ushered in the peak season of procurement, and functional materials companies and related traders will purchase and replenish stocks, or will promote the price of rare earths to rise further. In addition, the current price of rare earth is relatively at the bottom, and the upside is sufficient.
"In recent years, under the strong supervision of the national multi-sectoral industry, the price of rare earth has basically achieved a rational return, which has eliminated the phenomenon of the ups and downs of the past years and is not conducive to the production and operation of enterprises. The risks are gradually released, the fundamentals of supply and demand are expected to be adjusted, and prices will rise steadily, helping the rare earth market return to normal track."