The end of the wild ride on the back of skyrocketing prices for so-called rare-earth minerals has been bad news for companies that aimed to capitalize on soaring demand and constricted supply.

Shares of rare-earths plays such as Avalon Rare Metals, Rare Element Resources, and Molycorp are down 57%, 61%, and a stunning 79%, respectively, over the past 52 weeks.

Catalysts and specialty chemicals company W.R. Grace (NYSE:GRA) has noted that "rare earth costs have stabilized in the past six months" and says it thus can return to setting standard prices on its products, and do away with the surcharges it had added onto bills starting in 2010 "in response to the high volatility in the costs of various rare earths used in Grace's FCC catalysts and additives."

On Wednesday, Grace said it's discontinuing the use of "surcharge pricing" and simply setting its base price for FCC catalysts and additives so as "to reflect current rare earths costs," adding 10% to the price "as contract terms allow."

"The price increases are necessary due to significant investments made in the businesses over the past few years and to support continued investment in R&D, technical services, and planned capital investments," said the company.


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