BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China Rare Earth Industry Prosperity Index was 99.47 points in the first quarter of 2020, slightly below the 100-point prosperity line, according to a press conference jointly held by the China Economic Information Service and Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange on Monday.
The index compiled by the above two companies is composed of six first-level sub-indices including market performance, production and operation, employees, financing, inventory, and technological innovation.
In the first quarter of 2020, the production and operation sub-index scored the highest at 107.69 points.
Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, the production capacity of rare earth producers has shrunk, but the price of major products, especially that of medium and heavy rare earth oxides, has increased, which, to a certain extent, offset the loss caused by the output decline, according to the press conference.
Industry insiders point out that the increasing price of medium and heavy rare earth oxides in the first quarter was attributed to Myanmar's closing of rare earth export ports. Meanwhile, the recent rising expectation for state reserves also shores up the prices of medium and heavy rare earth oxides.
"Myanmar closed the customs clearance port, making the supply of heavy rare earth imports tight," said Chen Ling, a rare earth analyst at 100ppi.com, a commodity information provider.
According to the statistics of the 100ppi.com, the prices of medium and heavy rare earth oxides remained high in the first quarter. Taking dysprosium oxide as an example, its current quotation is up about 2.57 percent from the beginning of the year. (Edited by Hu Pingchao with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)