Rare earth elements (REE) or rare earth metals comprise a set of seventeen elements that show similar properties and belong to the lanthanide and actinide series. They consist of 15 lanthanide elements along with Yttrium and Scandium. They have a wide range of applications in high-end technology products such as computers, TVs, tablets, advanced military technology, super conductors, medical devices etc. Other applications include catalysts in automotive and petroleum refining and as a pigment in glass and ceramics.
Rare earth metals market volume share, by application, 2013
Growth of the automobile and electronic industry has augmented the demand for permanent magnets, which in turn has spurred the demand for neodymium which is extensively used in manufacturing magnets. Further, rise in usage of rare elements such as cerium and lanthanum as a metal catalyst in metallurgical and refining process is another key driver for this market.
The market faces substantial restraints owing to depleting reserves and raw material shortage. In addition, environmental hazards associated with mining have compelled countries like China to impose ban on excessive mining activities to reduce resource exploitation.
The key products utilized include Cerium, Praseodymium Lanthanum, Neodymium, Yttrium Dysprosium, and Gadolinium, etc. Cerium which is extensively used as a metal catalyst is the highest consumed metal and demand is expected to increase with growing industrialization. Lanthanum is second highest consumed element after Cerium with applications in metallurgical and refining activities. The major areas of application for rare earth elements include metallurgy, catalyst, polishing magnets and glass.
Rare earth metals market volume share, by region, 2013
Increased applications in countries such as India, Malaysia, China and South Korea have propelled demand for rare earth elements. Asia Pacific is the biggest market, with the largest reserves in China. In light of growing metallurgical and automotive application, the rest of the world will soon see an increase in demand for rare earth elements. Apart from China, REE are fairly spread all over the world. Countries such as Russia, U.S., Australia and India require massive resource exploration.
The key participants in the market are Molycorp and Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co. Other players include Lynas Corporation Limited, China Rare Earth Holdings, Great Western Mineral Group, and Indian Rare Earths Ltd among others.
Grand View Research has recently published a detailed report titled “Rare Earth Elements Market Analysis And Segment Forecasts To 2020”. This market research report provides complete estimate and forecast for major market segments on the basis of products, applications and regions. The report also contains detailed industry trends, market dynamics, drivers, restraints and key opportunities. In-depth market analysis such as Porter’s five force model, PESTEL, opportunity prioritization and comprehensive competitive landscape including detailed profiles of top companies are included in the report.
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