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Expectation for new policies boosts rare earth prices in China

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2015-03-10 GMT+8:00

BEIJING, Mar. 9 (Xinhua) -- After the Spring Festival holiday (February 18-24), prices of mainstream rare earth varieties continued rising.

On March 6, prices of pr-Nd oxide increased 10,000 yuan/metric ton (tonne), or 3 percent, while those of pr-Nd metal increased 5,000 yuan/tonne, or 1.25 percent.

Since last December, pr-Nd oxide prices have increased by 14 percent, according to statistics.

Many broker analysts attributed the continuous price hike to the expectation for new policies in the domestic rare earth market.

In September 2014, the Chinese authorities led by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) launched a campaign to crack down on illegal rare earth activities.

After the self-examination and rectification phases, the authorities will check the campaign work during the period from February 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015.

After abolishing export quotas for rare earths, many industry insiders speculate that the authorities will likely raise resource tax for rare earths.

Meanwhile, media reports say that the Chinese authorities are projected to buy rare earths for state reserves in March.

In addition, the government is working on formulation of management regulations for rare metals, which is favorable for the domestic rare earth industry.

Furthermore, large rare earth groups in China are advancing the industrial consolidation.

Boosted by favorable news, the domestic rare earth market has started to rebound. In November 2014, rare earth prices in China ended a fall for years. By March 6, 2015, the rare earth price index has increased by about 10 percent.

In the short term, the rare earth prices in China will continue rising. The uptrend will last in April and May, said Du Shuaibing, an analyst of an institute. (Edited by Hu Pingchao, hupingchao@xinhua.org)

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