Sharp Rise In REE Prices In Response To Chinese Threats
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China’s threat to stop exporting the crucial ingredients in everything high tech prompted fear among industrial producers ranging from electric motor and actuator producers, electric vehicle manufacturers, consumer electronics companies and lighting producers. Investors, too, are entering the scene hoping for short term profits.
Among the metals most affected, Neodymium was number one with an increase of over 20% since the beginning of the month. The metal is most commonly used in electric motors, used not only in electric vehicles but also in a very wide range of electric actuators in car power windows, seats, sunroofs and so on. Praseodymium, Dysprosium and Terbium, all used in related applications, were next with gains of over 10% each.
The next couple of weeks will show if the trend is sustainable, but both sides to the U.S. / China dispute are increasingly entrenched in their positions, with no compromise in sight.
Technology metals, such as Gallium which is used in most semiconductors used in electronic products, are likely to follow suit. While China’s dominance is not quite as pronounced as with REEs, about 90% of which are from China, the share of Chinese production is large enough to make world markets shake.
Follow daily updates on technology metal prices on KITCO at: https://www.kitco.com/strategic-metals/