Why Rare Earth Market Difficult to Improve in 1st Half 2023

Rare earth market difficult to improve in 1st half year 2023 and some small magnetic material workshop ceasing production

Downstream demand like rare earth magnet is sluggish, and rare earth prices have fallen back to two years ago. Despite a slight rebound in rare earth prices recently, several industry insiders have stated that the current stabilization of rare earth prices lacks support and is likely to continue to decline. Overall, the industry predicts that the price range of Praseodymium Neodymium oxide is between 300000 yuan/ton and 450000 yuan/ton, with 400000 yuan/ton becoming a watershed.

PrNd oxide and Dysprosium oxide

It is expected that the price of PrNd oxide will hover around 400000 yuan/ton for a period of time and not fall so quickly. 300000 yuan/ton may not be available until next year, “said a senior industry insider who declined to be named.

Downstream “buying up instead of buying down” makes it difficult for the rare earth market to improve in the first half of the year 2023.

Since February this year, rare earth prices have entered a downward trend, and are currently at the same price level as early 2021. Among them, the price of Praseodymium Neodymium oxide has fallen by nearly 40%, Dysprosium oxide in medium and heavy rare earths has fallen by nearly 25%, and Terbium oxide has fallen by over 41%. Rare earth analysts believe that due to the impact of the rainy season in the second quarter, rare earth minerals imported from Southeast Asia will decrease, and the situation of oversupply will be alleviated. In the short term rare earth prices may continue to fluctuate in a narrow range, but the long-term prices are bearish. Downstream raw material inventory is already at a low level, and it is expected that there will be a wave of procurement from late May to June

At present, the operating rate of the first tier of downstream NdFeB magnetic material enterprises is about 80-90%, and there are relatively few fully produced ones; the operating rate of the second tier team is basically 60-70%, and small enterprises are around 50%. Some small magnet workshops in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces have ceased production. According to the latest weekly report of Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange, recently, due to the reduction of production capacity of small and medium-sized magnetic material manufacturers and the instability of the oxide market price, the magnetic material factory has little magnet waste and the turnover has decreased significantly; In terms of rare earth magnetic materials, enterprises mainly focus on procurement on demand.

PrNd and DyFe

It is worth mentioning that on May 8 and 9, the price of Praseodymium Neodymium oxide rose slightly for two consecutive days, causing market attention. Some views believe that there are signs of stabilization in rare earth prices. Regarding this, Zhang Biao stated that, this small increase is due to the first few Neodymium magnet manufacturers bidding for rare earth metals, and secondly, the early delivery time of the Ganzhou region’s long-term cooperative and concentrated replenishment time, leading to a tight spot circulation in the market and a slight increase in prices. At present, there has been no improvement in terminal orders. Many buyers purchased a large amount of rare earth raw materials when the rare earth prices rose last year, and are still in the stage of destocking. Coupled with the mentality of buying up instead of falling, the more rare earth prices fall, the less they are willing to buy, “said Yang Jiawen. According to his prediction, with downstream inventory remaining low, the demand side market might improve as early as June. “Currently, the company’s inventory level is not high, so we can consider starting to buy, but we will definitely not buy when the price drops. When we buy, it will definitely be rising, “said a procurement person from a magnetic material company.

Post time: May-19-2023