Rare Earth Metals Market : Demand For Rare Earth Metals from Wind Energy Sector Driving the Market

The report ”Rare Earth Metals Market by Type (Lanthanum, Cerium, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Samarium, Europium, & Others), and Application (Magnets, Metals Alloys, Polishing, Additives, Catalysts, Phosphors, & Others) - Global Trends & Forecast to 2018” defines and segments the global rare earth metal market with analysis and forecasting of the global volume and revenue. The rare earth metals market demand will grow at a CAGR of 9% from 2013 to 2018 and reach 192,000 tons.

Browse 103 market data tables, 30 figures spread through 228 pages and in-depth TOC on “Rare Earth Metals Market - Global Trends & Forecast to 2018”

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Joint venture is the most popular growth strategy adopted by leading companies in the rare earth metals market. The top players in the rare earth metals market are keen on this strategy for better penetration and expansion of their business into new regions. The new ventures would aid the companies to cater the growing demand for rare earth metals.

The rare earth metals market is becoming aggressive with more and more developments happening in the field of rare earth applications. In terms of the global market, the industry comprises few market participants with some significant market leaders globally. In the rare earth metals market, there are established players such as Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co. Ltd.(China), Molycorp Inc. (U.S.), China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd. (China), and Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (Canada). These top players have a significant controlling share in the market.

One major factor that is holding back the development of the market is the illegal mining of rare earth elements in China. Illegal mining of rare earth ores causes two major problems. Firstly, it poses a great environmental problem for the industry with natural water supplies being exposed to radioactive wastes from the mines. Secondly, illegal mining poses a serious economic problem as it is very difficult to track and monitor. It is estimated that illegal mining and smuggling in the recent past possibly might have accounted for about 20% of the total exported rare earths market from China.

Rare earth metals are extensively used in permanent magnets, alloys, catalysts, and phosphors. One of the important factors contributing towards the growth of the market is increasing demand from wind energy sector.

The demand/supply equilibrium was disrupted recently with the major fluctuations in prices of rare earth metals in 2011.  This was due to restrictions placed by China in the form of cut on export quotas, constraints on mining to follow good environmental practices, and curb illegal practices. These restrictions imposed by China caused the prices of the rare earths to increase exponentially almost overnight as it created a supply shortage. During this time, prices of some critical rare earths such as neodymium and dysprosium increased by over 500%.  

The major players in the market compete on various parameters such as technical innovation, production capabilities, performance, quality, and geographic reach. The major players in the markets are Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co Ltd.(China), Molycorp Inc.(U.S.), China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd. (China), and Great Western Minerals Group Ltd.(Canada). China will continue to dominate the market, since they are looking for forward integration in the value chain to produce end-user products of rare earth oxides. China hopes to implement this strategy to have better profitability and hence solidify their position as market leaders.

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