Rare earth metal price slump continues

According to MetalMiner’s monthly rare earth index (a weighted average of 14 global rare earth metal prices) prices fell by around 30% over the past 12 months. Rare earth prices are expected to weaken in the short term amid a lack of purchasing by downstream industries.Resource Investing News report that ‘Producers are reportedly struggling with lower prices owing to high production costs, with some industry sources stating that a fall in prices is “inevitable” as the market battles with a surplus of supply and limited demand from downstream industries on the spot market.’

Separately Business Insider have published a photo essay detailing the poor environmental and safety conditions of an under-capitalised and labour intensive rare earth mine in China. The conditions visible in this report are closer to being stamped out following the formation of a major rare earth group in southern China. The area where the company is situated, Ganzhou holds 36% of China’s middle and heavy rare earth reserves according to the People’s Daily but has experienced over-exploitation since the 1970’s.

Related article: Are Rare Earth Metal Prices About To Rise?

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Peter Sainsbury

Materials Risk provides commodity market insights across your supply chain by highlighting emerging risks and opportunities and providing advice on commodity buying and managing risk. All views expressed on this website are those of Materials Risk only. See our About page and terms and conditions for more details. Materials Risk was founded by Peter Sainsbury who you can follow on Google+ and Quora

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