Monday, January 4, 2016

Wind energy and batteries drive future rare earth metal market

The global rare earth metal market is evincing intense interest from various market players because of its growth prospects with a rise in production capacities across the world as governments try to secure and leverage these scarce resources, according to a new report published by ReportsnReports. This expansion in the supplier base will drastically change the supplier landscape and is expected to lead to a softening of prices going forward.

Market research analysts predict the rare earth metals market to grow at a rate of 14 percent during the forecast period. According to the "Global Rare Earth Metals Market 2015-2019" report, increasing use of rare earth metals in the wind energy sector and NiMH batteries stand as the prominent ones. Rare earth elements are widely used in the manufacture of magnets for wind turbine generators and for the electrodes in metal hydride batteries.

The rare earth metals are used in NiMH batteries where neodymium, praseodymium and lanthanum are used in combination with nickel, cobalt and aluminium. These batteries are powerful, light and occupy less space when compared to the conventional lead and lithium batteries.

Recycling of rare earth metals from electronic wastes is gaining prominence and is expected to contribute to the market growth during the forecast period. The recycling process is being adopted by nations such as Germany, France and Japan that have limited reserves but high consumption.

China accounted for around 63 percent of the market share during 2014, in terms of consumption. The report predicts this region to maintain its leadership until the end of 2019. The increased demand for rare earth from the automotive and electronic industries in this region is driving the market.

Around 250 firms are involved globally in the exploration and production of rare earth metal deposits. Most of the firms' operating activities are based in China, followed by U.S., Australia and Canada. State-owned firms either directly or indirectly control about 60 percent of the global rare earth output.

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