Rare earth price
According to data from the China Rare Earth Industry Association, on February 15, the domestic rare earth price index was 426.8, a record high, up 24.78% from the beginning of this year. China is a major supplier of rare earth raw materials, and the rapid development of rare earth has caused many historical problems. my country is constantly improving its ability to control the rare earth industry, focusing on restructuring the rare earth market structure, and improving market concentration and bargaining power.
In short supply
According to data from Shanghai Nonferrous Metals Network, on February 15, the main light rare earth species, praseodymium and neodymium oxide, was reported at 1.1 million yuan per ton, an increase of 0.9% from the previous day and a year-on-year increase of 134.8%, continuing to hit a new high since 2012. The price of dysprosium oxide in medium and heavy rare earths was 3.125 million yuan/ton, an increase of about 7.57% compared with the price of 2.905 million yuan/ton at the end of last year; the price of dysprosium metal was 3.95 million yuan/ton, compared with 3.75 million yuan/ton at the end of last year, Up about 5.33%.
The main reason for the high price of rare earths is the shortage of supply. Since 2006, China has implemented total control and management of rare earth mining. On January 28 this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Natural Resources disclosed that the first batch of rare earth mining quotas was 100,800 tons, an increase of 20% compared with the first batch of mining quotas in 2021, and the increase was the same as last year.
Yang Wenhua, a rare earth analyst at Shanghai Nonferrous Metals Network, said that the recent rise in rare earth prices is mainly due to the imbalance between market supply and demand. Currently, the supply of upstream rare earth raw materials and recycled waste is very tight. This is mainly due to factors such as environmental protection and strategic resource policy control. The increase in domestic rare earth mining indicators is limited, and it is difficult to match the downstream demand for rare earth products that expands year by year. Separate smelting enterprises rely more on imported rare earth minerals.
Myanmar is an important source of rare earth minerals in China, accounting for about 10%. According to CICC analysis, although the China-Myanmar customs closure policy will be loosened at the end of 2021, and Myanmar mines will gradually enter China, it will take time to stabilize the output, and the supply side of rare earths will continue to be tight.
On the demand side, Hwabao Securities believes that after the Spring Festival, wind turbines, new energy vehicles and other terminal fields are in strong demand and orders increase. Large-scale magnetic material enterprises are full of orders. Although the first batch of mining indicators for rare earth mines has been issued, it is the rainy season, and the mining of medium and heavy rare earth mines in the south is relatively difficult. It is expected that the domestic supply of medium and heavy rare earth oxides will hardly increase in the first quarter.
Regarding the future trend of rare earth prices, CICC said that in 2022, there will still be a gap between supply and demand of rare earths, and it may continue to maintain a tight balance between supply and demand, and prices are expected to remain high and volatile.
Lin Boqiang, Dean of the China Energy Research Institute of Xiamen University, said that international commodity prices have generally risen recently, among which rare earth prices have been at the high point of this cycle. From the historical cyclical point of view, the current increase in rare earth prices has insufficient support and there is a certain downward trend. The interval is expected to stabilize in the later period.
Reshaping the rare earth market
Rare earths are known as “industrial gold”. my country is constantly improving its ability to control the rare earth industry, focusing on restructuring the rare earth market structure, and improving market concentration and bargaining power.
As an important non-renewable strategic resource, rare earth is an indispensable key element for transforming traditional industries and developing strategic emerging industries. It has very high application value in national economic and social development. After decades of hard work, my country has built a complete rare earth industry chain system covering mining, smelting and separation, product development, and terminal applications, and has become the world’s major rare earth producer, application country and exporter.
Chang Guowu, deputy director of the Raw Materials Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a recent press conference on the “14th Five-Year Plan for Raw Materials Industry Development” that rare earth prospecting and mining rights should be allocated in an appropriate and orderly manner, and exploration efforts should be stepped up to find out the reserves. Optimize the management mechanism for the total amount of rare earth control indicators, and scientifically regulate the scale of mining, smelting and separation. Establish a scientific and reasonable comprehensive recovery mechanism for rare earth secondary resources to promote the comprehensive utilization of tailings resources and associated resources. Guide rare earth enterprises to participate in international development and cooperation in an orderly manner, and encourage enterprises, universities, and scientific research institutes to cooperate with foreign new material enterprises and technology research and development institutions to improve the internationalization level of the rare earth industry.
Chang Guowu also mentioned that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, together with relevant departments, will further strengthen the order and rectification of the rare earth industry, encourage rare earth enterprises to carry out mergers and reorganizations in accordance with the principles of marketization and the rule of law, and support rare earth enterprise groups to extend the downstream industry chain to enhance their own development capabilities and brand influence. Support advantageous regions, accelerate transformation and upgrading, and build rare earth industry clusters.
The domestic rare earth industry completed the latest integration in 2016, forming six state-owned rare earth groups, integrating all rare earth mining rights and smelting separation enterprises in the country. Separate smelting indicators.
At present, the internal competition in the rare earth industry is still relatively fierce. As a strategic resource, it is still necessary to further reorganize and integrate rare earth to enhance the competitiveness of the industry.
In order to realize the complementary advantages of rare earth resources and the coordinated development of the rare earth industry, in December last year, Chinalco Group, Minmetals Group and the rare earth sector under Ganzhou Rare Earth Group reorganized and established a new state-owned enterprise, China Rare Earth Group. China Rare Earth Group is held 31.21% by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, Chinalco Group, Minmetals Group and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group each hold 20.33%; Gangyan Technology and Youyan Technology each hold 3.9%.
According to industry analysis, under the new development pattern, the establishment of China Rare Earth Group is conducive to solving the structural imbalance of the rare earth industry chain, the serious delay in the development of rare earth deep processing, and the application and promotion of new technologies and new products that restrict the high-quality development of rare earth enterprises, and further unblock the rare earth industry chain. Communication and connection between upstream and downstream and different fields, integration of innovation resources, formation of innovation synergy, accelerating the transformation and application of scientific and technological achievements, promoting high-end applications to a new level, and better guaranteeing the upgrading of traditional industries and the development of strategic emerging industries.