Japan Rare Metals Imports Increase in May

Japanese rare metals import increased for 11 items including rare earth, vanadium, tungsten and cerium oxide among total 22 items in May from a year ago, according to Ministry of Finance. The averaged import unit value increased for rare earth, tungsten, bismuth and titanium in May from a year earlier, which of rare earth especially doubled under the tight supply.The rare earth import increased by 36.7% to 990 tonnes in May from a year ago, when the demand of neodymium iron boron magnet is increasing for more electronics in automobiles and hard disc drives. Rare earth demand is also increasing for fluorescent materials. The averaged unit value increased by 793 yen to 1,590 yen per kilogram in May from a year ago with the increase of domestic demand and unstable supply from China which is the world largest producer of rare earth.The import of addition metals for steel making also increased thanks to the recovery of stainless steel market. The import increased by 61% to 198 tonnes for vanadium in May from a year earlier and by 11% to 102 tonnes for molybdenum. The averaged unit value decreased by 62% to 2,116 yen per kg for vanadium and by 23% to 3,970 yen per kg for molybdenum with the decline of international spot prices.