The Global Rare Earth Elements Market is expected to grow at a high CAGR of 10% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
Rare earth elements are a group of seventeen metals and compounds of the same metals in the periodic table with specific properties. The group of elements consists of yttrium, scandium and the 15 lanthanide elements such as Cerium, Erbium, Europium, Gadolinium, Holmium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Scandium, Terbium, Thulium, Ytterbium and Yttrium. These elements possess certain characteristics such as high electrical conductivity, fluorescent properties and have high magnetic properties. It can be useful when alloyed, or mixed, in small quantities of other metals such as iron, aluminium etc.
Rare earth elements are usually found in several applications such as portable electronic devices such as smartphones, portable computers readers, loudspeakers and cameras as well as in automobile batteries.
The global rare earth elements market is driven by the rising sale of the electronics devices such as smartphones, laptops, televisions, computers etc. due to rising consumer spending and increasing internet penetration around the globe. Further increasing sales of electric as well as hybrid vehicles around the globe due to growing consumer’s awareness and rising government initiatives and schemes has propelled the growth of the rare earth elements market.
Rising demand of the rare earth elements in the manufacturing of the electronic devices
The market is driven by the surge in the sale of electronic devices such as smartphones, portable speakers, cameras, etc with increasing use of E-commerce sites, rising internet penetration and growing disposable income of the people around the globe. For instance, as per the International Monetary Fund Organization in 2019, the global smartphone sale was registered to around 1.37 million and is increasing at a rapid pace in developing countries due to the presence of a huge population and rising number of internet users. The rare earth elements are widely used in the manufacturing of the smartphone due to their feasible properties such as high electrical conductivity.
Growing demand of the rare earth elements in the electric as well as hybrid vehicle applications for manufacturing of the batteries and other components of the EVs
The rare earth elements such as neodymium and dysprosium are widely used in the manufacturing of automobile batteries due to their feasible properties. As the demand for electric vehicles is increasingly astoundingly, the rare earth elements requirement is also increasing in future.
For instance in 2018, per the International Energy Agency, the global electric vehicle sale reached around 5.2 million increased by more than 63% as compared to 2017. It created a massive demand for the lanthanum, neodymium, dysprosium and cerium used in the manufacture of batteries of the EVs.
Further rare earth elements demand is driven by increasing demand for clean energy and reducing the CO2 emission norms by several governments in the hybrid, passenger and commercial vehicles. These elements are used in the manufacturing of catalytic converters, which convert pollutants from the engine exhaust system into non-toxic compounds. The petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid cars can contain rare earth compounds which are used to reduce pollution emissions.
Growing demand for the rare earth elements for clean energy technologies, electric vehicles as well as rising demand for the recycling of the REE with government support and initiatives may create a huge opportunity for the growth of this market
The launch of advanced material for clean energy technologies with rising government support and schemes may create a huge opportunity for the growth of this market. Further several countries have planed to recycle the rare earth elements from the electronics scraps and provided funding and subsidy for recycling plants which created a huge opportunity for the growth of this market. For instance in Europe by the year 2018, only 1% of the rare earth elements are being recycled. However, European Commission has planned to recycle rare earth elements to 70% by 2030. It may create a huge opportunity for the growth of this market.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
The global rare earth elements market has shown a slight decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as manufacturing industries were closed. Several countries have restricted production activities during the covid-19 pandemic. Further the growth of electronics devices, automobiles also declined due to low demand from April to June 2020. As per International Energy Agency during January to April 2020 Covid-19 pandemic period, the sale of cars contracted by 15% over the year compared to 2019, while electric sales for passenger and commercial light-duty vehicles also declines broadly as compared to 2019 levels.
However, the demand for the rare earth elements slightly increased in August 2020, as several leading manufacturers started production of electronics devices, electric vehicles etc. The leading manufacturers were facing a lack in the supply of raw materials. Further demand is increased suddenly due to the increasing sale of portable electronics devices such as smartphones, speakers, etc. due to the surge in demand in developing countries as several institutions, schools, and colleges shifted into online classes which have propelled the demand for smartphones.
Further growing investments, partnerships for enhancing the sale of the rare earth elements due to rising demand in the automotive and electronics equipment have propelled the growth of this market after June 2020. For instance on 4th June, India and Australia have announced a partnership to supply rare earth minerals and elements to India. Australia has a huge source of mineral ores which can be supplied to Delhi, India by elevating partnership to the next level. Increasing demand for medical devices during the covid-19 pandemic created a huge opportunity for the rare earth elements market. Further demand for rare earth elements will increase as soon as the pandemic is over.
The global rare earth elements are segmented based on type, forms, application, end-user and region.
The rising demand for Neodymium in the automotive sector with the surge in the global sale of electric and hybrid vehicles have propelled the demand for this market
In terms of product, the global rare earth elements are bifurcated into metals and compounds. Among these metals have the highest market share in 2019, due to rising demand in the automotive and consumer electronics sector. Further metal segment is divided into Cerium, Erbium, Europium, Gadolinium, Holmium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Scandium, Terbium, Thulium, Ytterbium and Yttrium. Among these, Neodymium has the highest market share in 2019, owing to rising demand in the manufacturing facilities of consumer electronics such as portable speakers, computer hard drives, hybrid cars, automotive batteries etc.
For instance, as per the India Brand Equity Foundation Organization in 2019, the consumer electronics and appliances sale reached around US$ 10.93 billion and is projected to reach around US$ 21 billion by 2025 in India. It created a huge demand for the Neodymium segments used in the manufacturing of electronic devices and appliances in India.
Similarly, Lanthanum, Europium, Yttrium, Dysprosium, Scandium, Samarium, Erbium, Praseodymium segments are also growing at a faster pace owing to rising demand for clean technologies and strict rules regarding emission control from automotive vehicles and other industries. Rare earth elements (REEs) plays a vital role in petroleum refining, Automotives for controlling emission.
For instance, lanthanum and cerium are used as additives for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) in gasoline production, as well as used for manufacturing of the catalatic converters in automotive. These REEs increases gasoline yield and reduce air emissions from the oil refining process as well as from automobiles.
Increasing sale of passenger and commercial vehicles which uses rare earth elements for making catalatic coverters at the exhaust of the vehicles have propelled the demand for this market. For instance, as per the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers in 2019, the global passenger vehicles sale reached around 67,149,196 units which propel the rare earth elements market required in the manufacturing of the automotive exhaust catalytic converters.
Further compounds segment is divided into cerium compounds, carbonates, chlorides, oxides and others.
Increasing clean energy demand with the surge in advancements of new metals for growing aerospace & defence, automotive and electronics application have propelled the growth of rare-earth laterite segmental growth for this market
Based on the source, the global rare earth elements market is divided into Bastnäsite Metals, Loparite, Monazite, Rare-earth laterite, Xenotime and others. Among this rare-earth laterite segment has the highest market share owing to rising demand in industrial applications such as electrical & electronics equipment, automotive applications, aerospace and defence industry.
It is more eco-friendly and has low cost than other types of materials. Further increasing production capacity for the rare earth elements for the aerospace and defence industry with the surge in government spending and initiatives have propelled the demand for this metal segment.
For instance, on 11th Dec 2019, the United States Army have planned funding for the construction plant of rare earth processing plant due to rising demand by Washington to secure domestic supply of the minerals for manufacturing of military weapons and electronics. It created a huge demand for this market in the defence sector from the developed as well as developing countries.
Increasing demand from the automobile sector with the surge in government subsidy and strict rules and norms regarding emission have propelled the catalyst segmental growth
Based on the application, the global rare earth element is divided into magnets, catalyst, metals alloys, polishing, ceramics/glass, additives and others. Among these, the catalyst segment has the highest market share owing to the rising demand for emission control from increasing manufacturing facilities of the electronics goods, chemical factories as well as automotive. For instance, the Indian government has set new BS-IV norms in 2016 for emission control planed to adopt BS V and BS-VI norms by 2020. It created a huge demand for the catalyst required to control emissions from the exhaust of the automotive.
The increasing number of internet users with the surge in the sale of smartphones has propelled the electronics segmental growth
Depending upon the end-user, the global rare earth elements market is divided into Industrial, Automotive, Glass Industry, Fluorescent lighting, Electronic and others. Among this electronics segment has the highest share in 2019, this is primarily due to increasing sales of the electronics devices due to surge in the internet penetration around the globe.
For instance as per the GSMA report in 2019, the mobile industry connected around over 3.5 billion people to the internet that is approximately 47% of the global population. It created a massive demand for the rare earth elements used in the manufacturing of smartphones around the globe. Further electronic devices are divided into devices smartphones, readers, loudspeakers, portable computers, cameras etc.
North America region holds the largest market share global rare earth elements Market due to surge in the sale of electric vehicles and presence of leading automotive manufacturers
North America region is dominating the global rare earth elements market and accounted for the largest market share in 2019, due to the presence of leading manufacturing companies, growing industrialization and rising investment for electric vehicles by the leading players in this region followed by North America and Europe.
For instance, on 11th March 2020, United States’ leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has announced to produce one million electric cars due to increasing demand. Further, the United States has around 1.18 million electric vehicles on the road as of March 31, 2019, and its demand is growing at a rapid pace. It created a massive demand for the rare earth elements required for the manufacturing of EVs in this region followed by Europe. Further in Europe on 13th August 2020, Russia planned to invest around US$ 1.5 billion in rare earth elements to combat the rising critical requirement to the defence, telecommunications and renewable energy sectors.
Similarly, Asia-Pacific is also growing at a faster pace for the rare earth elements market, this is primarily due to a surge in demand for consumer electronics as well as rising foreign direct investment for the establishment of the manufacturing facilities in this region due to low labour cost. Further increasing sales of electric vehicles in developing regions due to government support and schemes have propelled the demand for the rare earth elements market in this region. For instance in developing regions, China has registered more than half of the global electric vehicle sales reaching around 500,000 units in 2017. It created a massive demand for the growth of the rare earth element market.
The rare earth elements market is moderately competitive with the presence of local as well as global companies. Some of the key players which are contributing to the growth of the market include China Northern Rare Earth, Arafura Resources Ltd, Lynas Corporation Ltd, Avalon Rare Metals, Alkane Resources Ltd, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd, China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd, High-Tech Co., Ltd, Molycorp Inc., Iluka Resources Ltd, Canada Rare Earth Corporation, Molycorp Inc, India Rare Earth Ltd. and among others.
The major players are adopting several growth strategies such as product launches, acquisitions, and collaborations, which are contributing to the growth of the Rare Earth Elements Market globally. For instance, on 4th Nov 2020 Rainbow Rare Earths Africa-focused collaborated with Bosveld Phosphates for co-developing the Phalaborwa rare earth project in South Africa.
Further on 29th August 2022, the Canadian government have announced rare earth processing plant in operation by the end of 2022 in the province of Saskatchewan with an investment of around US $24 million to build the facility. The aim of this investment for the establishment of the rare earth element is to fulfil and meet the domestic supply of the key rare-earth elements required for military weapons, electric vehicles and smartphones.
Lynas Corporation, Ltd.:
Overview: Lynas Corporation, Ltd was founded in 1983 and headquartered in Kuantan, Malaysia. It is one of the leading Australian rare-earths mining companies which produces the highest grade Rare Earths mine around the globe. The Company has the world’s largest single Rare Earths processing plant located in 100-hectare in Malaysia. Lynas Rare Earths are used in a wide range of high-tech applications and future-facing industries such as electronics, wind turbines, catalytic converters, electric and hybrid motor vehicles.
Product Portfolio: The Company has a product portfolio of rare earth elements includes:
Key Development: On 13th Dec 2019, The United States department of defence funded Australia's Lynas Rare Earths Processing Plant to build a manufacturing facility of the rare earth element in Texas, United States.
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