According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the global rare earth metals market is expected to reach USD 12.26 billion by 2021, growing at an impressive CAGR of more than 9%.
This research report titled 'Global Rare Earth Metals Market 2017-2021' provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. The analysts have presented the various facets of the market with a particular focus on identifying the key industry influencers.
The rising global demand for rare earth metals has resulted in sharp increases in their prices due to a flat to negative supply growth from the key producing region, China. In order to capitalize on this rising demand, various companies across the world are aggressively embarking upon mineral exploration programs.
Technavio's sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report including the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more.
Technavio's analysts categorize the global rare earth metals market into eight major segments by technology. They are:
- Permanent magnets
- Metal alloys
- Polishing powder
- Glass additives
The top three application segments for the global rare earth metals market are:
Global rare earth metals market for permanent magnets
The global rare earth metals market for permanent magnets comprises of around 25.35% of the global market share. Major rare earth metals used in this application are neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, gadolinium, terbium, and samarium. The main rare earth magnets used in this context are the SmCo magnets and the NdFeB magnets. These magnets are widely used in military technologies including precision-guided missiles and bombs in aircraft and warships, because of their high thermal stability.
According to Ajay Adhikary, a lead metals and minerals research analyst from Technavio, "China stands as the leading consumer and supplier of NdFeB magnets with the country being a key exporter of these magnets. Rare earth magnets are preferred in various applications pertaining to audio components, video components, automobiles, military gear, and communication systems because of their light weight and high strength."
Global rare earth metals market for metal alloys
The global rare earth metals market for metal alloys comprised of around 18.70% of the global market share in 2016. Rare earth metals are relatively less toxic than conventional materials such as cadmium and lead. Therefore, they preferred for use in rechargeable batteries. La-Ni-H batteries are increasingly being used in computers and communication applications, and could potentially replace lead acid batteries in automobiles.
"The La-Ni-H batteries offer greater energy density, exceptionally long life cycles and pose minimal environmental impact upon recycling. These battery types are widely being used in hybrid electric cars because they promise better performance while constituting only a minor portion of the weight of the electric vehicles," says Ajay.
Global rare earth metals market for catalysts
The global rare earth metals market for catalysts comprised of around 16.45% of the global market share in 2016. Lanthanum-based catalysts are used in petroleum refining while cerium-based catalysts are used in automotive catalytic converters. The refining process involves fluid cracking wherein catalysts play a major role in converting heavy hydrocarbons into lighter hydrocarbon streams.
Catalytic converters, on the other hand, are emission control systems fitted to vehicles wherein they reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants through catalyst-aided reactions. Rare earth elements are used as catalysts in these converters.
The top vendors highlighted by Technavio's research analysts in this report are:
- Alkane Resources
- Arafura Resources
- Avalon Advanced Materials
- China Minmetals Rare Earth
- Lynas Corporation