The price of rare earths hit record levels this week in China, the world’s main producer of many of the elements integral to the manufacture of a wide range of cutting edge products, reports Caixin.
An index measuring the prices in China of 21 rare earth oxides and combination products published by the Association of China Rare Earth Industry rocketed 99% from about this time last year to reach 426.75, setting a new record. On the first day this year for which the association gives a figure, January 4, the index was around 340.
Rare earths are used for products including such as electric-vehicle batteries, phone components, and military equipment.
On Wednesday, the average spot price of neodymium-praseodymium oxide—a light variety of rare earths that’s mainly used to create magnets, such as in electric batteries—was up 135% year-on-year at RMB 1.1 million ($173,315) per ton, data from the Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) research institute shows.
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