Fastmarkets launches rare earths prices for the energy transition
Read more about our suite of prices and coverage for rare earth materials that will play critical roles in the electrification of the transportation sector and clean energy generation
Fastmarkets, a leading international price reporting agency (PRA) providing pricing data, analysis and events to global commodity markets, has launched a suite of prices and coverage for rare earth elements that will play critical roles in the electrification of the transportation sector and clean energy generation.
Energy-saving permanent rare earth magnet motors are the most cost-effective and efficient way of converting electrical energy into propulsion in an electric or hybrid car. Rapid advances in magnet technology and manufacturing capacity have supported adoption. More than 80% of electric vehicles (EVs) use motors containing sintered neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) rare earth magnets. In the offshore wind industry, the use of high-performance NdFeB magnets eliminates the need for complex gearing systems that are expensive and difficult to repair and service in remote locations.
Global reserves of the four rare earth elements needed for high-performance NdFeB magnets for EV motors – neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium – are plentiful enough to support the energy transition for the foreseeable future. But complex and opaque supply chains, unexplained price volatility, regional concentration and geopolitical tensions are making it harder for business planners and procurement managers to make timely decisions in a rapidly evolving economic, regulatory and ESG environment.
Building upon its track record of world-beating coverage and prices for battery raw materials markets, Fastmarkets has launched five weekly rare earth prices. They are:
Neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) oxide, 99pc, fob China – MB-NDP-0001
Light rare earth NdPr oxide (a combination of neodymium and praseodymium oxide) is the main building block of high-performance sintered NdFeB magnets and makes up around a third by weight. Demand is rising steeply, and new mining and processing projects are developing around the world.
Dysprosium oxide 99.5pc, fob China – MB-DY-0001
Heavy rare earth dysprosium is added in small amounts to high-performance NdFeB magnets for EV motors* to maintain performance at high temperatures. A large share of global production of heavy rare earth ores is concentrated in Myanmar, a politically unstable jurisdiction, and supply is frequently disrupted. The industry is responding by identifying and developing new supply sources around the world and increasing the processing of monazite minerals.
Terbium oxide 99.99pc, fob China – MB-TB-0001
Another heavy rare earth, terbium is added in trace amounts to high-performance NdFeB magnets.
Neodymium oxide 99.5pc, cif Rotterdam – MB-ND-0001
Light rare earth neodymium has growing uses in water treatment and automotive catalysts to reduce emissions from ICE vehicles. It is also one of the most geographically diverse refined rare earth materials.
Gadolinium oxide 99.99-99.999pc fob China – MB-GD-0001
High purity gadolinium has important applications in aerospace, nuclear power and medical diagnostics.
More magnet supply chain prices will follow soon. Fastmarkets will also explore prices and applications that are poorly represented by the wider market but have important applications in strategic industries.
“Introducing these new rare earth prices is a landmark moment for Fastmarkets and a reflection of our unwavering commitment to bringing transparency and reliability to commodity markets,” Fastmarkets CEO Raju Daswani said.
“We understand the challenges faced by manufacturers and will provide the tools they need to plan strategically and make informed decisions. This is a significant stride towards levelling the playing field in the global rare earth market, and we are thrilled to be leading the charge,” he added.
“Forty years after their invention, rare earth magnets are playing a crucial role in electrification of the transportation sector, and the technologies they support can be found everywhere in our daily lives. Advances in material science have also made rare earth elements critical inputs to high-tech applications ranging from high-speed communication to healthcare. The industry needs more transparent and reliable pricing, and we will provide it,” said Caroline Messecar, Strategic Markets Editor, Technology Metals.
*Heavy rare earths are added to NdFeB magnets to maintain performance and efficiency at higher temperatures in motor applications. Offshore wind applications can use magnets based upon light rare earths.