The global rare earth metals market features a highly consolidated competitive landscape, limited number of suppliers, a low threat of new entrants owing to strict environment and mining related laws, and stiff competition in terms of raw material sourcing, observes a recent report by Transparency Market Research. With China taking the position of the leading producer of rare earth metals, a nearly 95% of the total global capacity, most of the world’s leading rare earth metal vendors reside in the country and have their dedicated distribution networks.
The top three vendors in the market, namely Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co., Molycorp, and China Rare Earth Holdings, collectively accounting for a nearly 64% of the overall market in 2012. Distribution has been highlighted as the key success factor in the market and leading companies are working towards the development of their own distribution networks to increase their market penetration.
Transparency Market Research states that the overall demand for rare earth metals will reach 293.5 kilo tons in 2018, with the volume-wise valuation of the market expanding at a promising 11.9% CAGR over the report’s forecast period. In terms of revenue, the market is expected to reach a market of US$8,195.4 mn by 2018, exhibiting an impressive 13% over the forecast period.
Permanent Magnets to Remain Key Application Area
The segment of permanent magnets is expected to retain its position as the most attractive application segment in terms of growth potential and investment opportunities over the course of the report’s forecast period. The segment is expected to account for an impressive 23% of the entire market by 2018. The vast demand for permanent magnets across application areas such as standard automotive, electric cars, consumer electronics, and air conditioning is expected to be the core factor behind the catapulting rise of the segment as the leading one for the rate earth metals market.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific will continue its bullish dominance throughout the forecast, with China continuing its high pace of production and consumption of most of the commercially and industrially viable rare earth metals. However, the rising awareness regarding the untapped reserves of rare earth metals in countries such as Russia, the U.S., and Australia will shift the focus of companies from China to these high-potential producers in the next few years.
High Demand across Consumer Electronics to Drive Growth
The vast rise in demand for permanent magnets has been highlighted as one of the key factors driving the global rare earth metals market in the report. The factor is also expected to remain the key factor driving the market over the forecast period, with the demand for permanent magnets across consumer electronics expected to see a surge owing to the vast rise in consumer base of mobile computers, smartphones, and electric vehicles.
Rare earth metals also find extensive usage in the production of rare earth metal catalysts, used commonly across applications in industries such as automotive, glass, and metallurgy. The increased demand for this application area is also expected to emerge as one of the key drivers of the global rare earth metals market in the next few years.
Depleting Reserves to Emerge as Key Growth Challenge for Market
Despite excellent growth opportunities and the mounting rise in demand for rare earth metals, the growth of the global rare earth metals market is expected to be restricted to certain extent owing to factors such as depleting reserves and environmental concerns associated with the mining, refining, and recycling of these metals. Presently, overexploitation of known reserves of key rare earth metals, such as most industrially used metal reserves in China and niobium reserves in Brazil, is leading to stark depletion of reserves across key producing areas.
Reserves of neodymium and dysprosium are amongst the starkly depleting ones, demand for which is expected to rise by nearly 700% 2600% in the next 25 years owing to high demand across industries such as electrical vehicles and wind turbines. As a result, the market is expected to be significantly restrained owing to the lack of available reserves and new reserves will need to be explored.
This summary of the market is based on a report by Transparency Market Research, titled “Rare Earth Metals Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2012 - 2018.”
The market is segmented as:
Rare Earth Metals Market By Type:
Rare Earth Metals Market By Application:
Rare earth Metals Market By Geography:
- North America
- Rest of the World (RoW)
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