Rare Earth Metals Market: Overview
Rare earth metals is a group of seventeen metals with similar chemical properties. The group of metals include fifteen Lanthanides along with Yttrium and Scandium. Based on their physical and chemical behaviour, the rare earth metals are generally grouped as heavy rare earth metals and light rare earth metals. Among all the rare earth metals, Lanthanum, Cerium, and Neodymium are most widely used metals globally. The production and consumption of rare earth metals is highly concentrated in China. The country accounts for more than 75% of the overall production and around 65% of the overall consumption of rare earth metals worldwide. United States, which is a leading importer, is estimated to account for around 10% of the overall consumption. Furthermore, the rare earth metals are useful in a variety of applications which include glass & ceramics, magnets, catalyst, polishes, metallurgical and alloys, phosphorus and other niche application. Among all these applications, catalysts and magnets are the most prominent ones and account for more than half of the worldwide consumption of rare earth metals. The global rare earth metals demand is anticipated to grow at a higher single digit CAGR until 2020 end. The market supply is anticipated to decrease owing to increasing industry regulations in China rare earth metals market. In order to comply with decreasing supply, the non-China manufacturers are adopting the strategy of capacity expansions and collaborations.
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Rare Earth Metals Market: Dynamics
The global rare earth metals market is driven by increasing demand of metals namely, Praseodymium, and Neodymium in high power magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicles. The rare earth metals are currently used in relatively less number of offshore wind turbines. The application is projected to witness higher growth over the forecast period. Moreover, the demand for electric vehicles is anticipated to increase in near future due to increasing regulations on greenhouse gas emissions by governments across the globe. The increasing electric vehicle production will in turn drive the market for rare earth metals over the forecast period.
The decreasing supply from China which is estimated to be a prominent rare earth metals exporter is anticipated to be a major impediment in market growth over the forecast period. Various environment and industry regulation by the China government restricts rare earth metals export to the international market. Furthermore, the highly volatile prices due to the supply demand imbalance is also a prominent restraint for the market.
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Global Rare Earth Metals Market: Segmentation
Global rare earth metals market is segmented on the basis of end use, product type and region. On the basis of product type, the global rare earth metals market is classified as heavy rare earth metals and light rare earth metals. The heavy rare earth metals comprises lower atomic weight metals such as Lanthanum (atomic weight, 57) to Samarium (atomic weight, 62). Whereas, the heavy rare earth metals comprises rest of the rare earth metals. Moreover, based on end use, global rare earth metals market is classified as glass & ceramics, magnets, catalyst, polishes, metallurgical and alloy, phosphorus and others. Among these segments, glass & ceramics, and magnets are the prominent segments in terms of market share. Magnet is a high value segment and is expected to witness higher CAGR owing to increasing use of high power magnets in electric vehicle and wind turbines. Increasing strategic collaborations and expansions is a prominent trend among the non-China rare earth metals manufacturers in order to comply with decreasing supply from China manufacturers.
Global Rare Earth Metals Market: Key Players
Some of the examples of the participants involved in the global rare earth metals market are:
- Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-earth (Group)
- Lynas Corporation
- Molycorp Inc.
- Alkane Resources
- Ucore Rare Metals
- Tantalus Rare Earths
- Tasman Metals
- Greenland Min. and Energy
- Avalon Rare Metals
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