Rare earth metals to gain impetus from their increasing consumption in electronics and renewable energy sector

Posted On Apr, 27, 2017

The global rare earth metal market is displaying immense enthusiasm amongst the industry players owing to the rapid increase in production facilities worldwide. The market is expected to rise at CAGR of 14% over 2016 to 2024. The increasing use of rare earth metals in NiMH batteries and renewable energy segment are the primary growth drivers for this sector.

Rising national interest to secure and leverage these unique elements is also growing the market demand for this limited natural resources. The increased demand from automotive and electronic industries is also propelling the market demand. Furthermore, increasing competition due to new market entrants is expected to decrease the prices for the rare earth metals.

Rare earth metals have extensive applications in magnetic bars production. These magnet blocks are utilized in wind turbine generators owing to their increased efficiency. These elements also have full applications in producing NiMH batteries. These cells use rare-earth metals such as neodymium, lanthanum, and praseodymium along with aluminum, nickel, and cobalt to form metal electrodes. These batteries have light weight and high efficiency in comparison to the current lead or lithium batteries.

In nature, rare earth metals are typically present in cationic forms in carbonates, oxides, phosphates, and silicates. Rare earth elements mainly comprise lanthanides, scandium, and yttrium. Cerium dominates the market share by 40% of total volume, owing to its rising demand as a catalyst. Other significant metals regarding size are Lanthanum, Neodymium, Praseodymium, and Yttrium.

Rare earth metal or element market is further segmented into light rare earth elements (LREE) and heavy rare earth elements (HREE). The LREE segment includes lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, and praseodymium while HREE includes terbium, holmium, dysprosium, erbium, ytterbium, thulium, and lutetium.

Rare earth elements or metals have extensive applications in metallurgy, catalyst, and magnets. Metallurgy and magnets comprise the largest market segment with over 40% of total consumption. Rare elements such as cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, and yttrium are primarily used to improve the physical properties of the metal. These applications in metallurgy are expected to surge the demand for the rare earth metals over the forecast period. Elements such as Yttrium, Terbium, and Europium have broad applications in the electronic industry especially in the manufacturing process of LCD and CRT displays.

The rare earth metal industry is expected to face challenges owing to depleting mineral deposit, complex extraction procedures, stringent regulatory norms and capital intensive nature of this industry.

Recently, growing environmental concerns towards recycling of waste products are expanding market base for these segments. Recycling electronic waste materials to generate rare elements is gaining prominence owing to the simplification of the extraction process. This extraction method is adopted in nations such as Germany, France and Japan, which have limited ore reserves.

Globally China, U.S., Australia and Canada are the largest markets for the rare earth metals market where state-owned firms control approximately 60% of the global rare earth output. Asia Pacific is the largest market, owing to the large rare earth elements deposits in China. China accounted for approximately 63% market share during 2016, regarding consumption. Growing demands in metallurgical and automotive industries is expected to surge the demand for rare earth metals. The regional market is expected to witness dynamic consumption growth at an estimated CAGR of over 12% from 2016 to 2024. Growing exploration and production activities in China are the primary factors contributing to high growth in the regional markets.

North America is the second largest consumer of rare earth elements. High demands for metals and metallurgy industries are the major growth drivers for this industry. However, the regional market is expected to lose market share owing to recently discovered large extraction sites in Latin America, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Key industry participants include China Rare Earth Holdings, Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co, Alkane Energy PLC, Avalon, Molycorp, and Arafura. Other industry participants are Greenland Minerals, Quest Rare Minerals, Montero Mining and Exploration, Frontier Rare Earths and Energy, Lynas Corporation Limited, Great Western Mineral Group, Jiangxi Copper, Indian Rare Earths, Rare Element Resources, Namibia Rare Earths, Showa Denko and Ucore Rare Metals.

Access news release of research report on global rare earth elements market: http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/rare-earth-elements-market

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