South Korea's Rare Earth imports from China rise in May

South Korea's Rare Earth imports from China surged last month due to a fall in import prices, customs data showed Thursday.

South Korea purchased a total of 92 tons of rare earth materials from China in May, up 71.3% from a month earlier, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

Around 48.5% of South Korean imports of Rare Earth materials in May came from China, down 1.1 percentage point from the previous month.

The unit price of Rare Earth materials imported from China dropped 27.1% on-month to US$41.58 per kilogram last month, contributing to the country's higher dependence on China.

Rare Earth materials, including scandium and yttrium, are key components for modern-day technologies such as hybrid electric vehicles, liquid crystal display (LCD) and other high-tech products.

Rare Earth imports from Japan jumped 53.3% on-month to 69 tons in May as import prices declined 28.2% to US$39.88 per kilogram last month, when 20 tons was imported from France.

In May, South Korea imported a combined 190 tons of Rare Earth materials, up 75.3% from the previous month, according to the customs office.

Meanwhile, imports of some rare metals also increased in May on an on-month basis. Inbound shipments of manganese, cobalt, lithium, indium and chrome expanded 5.4, 30.0, 57.2, 7.3 and 35.7 per cent respectively last month.

In contrast, imports of molybdenum, tungsten, titanium and magnesium contracted 20.3, 27.5, 57.2, and 37.8 per cent each over the same period.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.