Japan Rare Earth Import Increases in November 2005

Japanese monthly import of 7 rare metals, including rare earths, antimony and indium, increased in volume in November 2005 from a year ago, according to the trade statistics of 22 rare metals by Ministry of Finance. The averaged import prices keep upward for rare earths, vanadium, molybdenum, antimony, tungsten and indium.Rare earths import increased by 18% to 701 tonnes in November 2005 from a year ago. Demand of neodymium iron boron magnet, mainly based on neodymium, increases for more electronics in automobiles and hard disc drives. Hard disc drives are now carried into not only personal computers but portable music players and the usage widens sharply.Averaged import price of rare earths increases. The price rose by 48% to 1,613 yen per kilogram in November 2005 from the previous month, which almost doubled from a year ago. The import price increases when China, which is the world largest supplier of rare earths, is regulating its export volume of rare earth materials along with the higher demand.