March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Lynas Corp., an Australian rare earths developer, rose to the highest in more than two weeks in Sydney trading as concern eased over a drop in demand from Japan after this month’s earthquake and tsunami.
Lynas, set to become the first new source of supply outside China in at least two decades, rose 5.5 percent to A$2.11 at 10:40 a.m. local time, the highest since March 4. Arafura Resources Ltd. rose 3.8 percent. Lynas, based in Sydney, has gained more than fourfold in the last 12 months.
Japan is the world’s largest importer of rare earths, used by manufacturers including Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, and Hitachi Metals Ltd. Molycorp Inc. and Rare Element Resources Ltd. gained yesterday in North American trading amid rising prices and reduced concern that the Japanese disaster will curb demand, said Dahlman Rose & Co.
“Manufacturing activity is recommencing in Japan,” Anthony Young, an analyst at Dahlman Rose, said yesterday.
Prices for lanthanum, a rare-earth mineral used in refinery catalysts, have gained 79 percent since the start of March, while cerium, used in magnets, has surged 69 percent, according to Steelhome prices on Bloomberg.
Rare earths are a group of 17 metal elements used in batteries, wind turbines, cell phones and in catalysts to reduce auto-exhaust emissions. China produces about 95 percent of the global supply of rare-earth metals.
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