Reportlinker Adds Chinese Indium Strategies: Threats and Opportunities for Displays, Photovoltaics and Electronics

Mar 14, 2011, 15:55 ET from Reportlinker

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Chinese Indium Strategies:  Threats and Opportunities for Displays, Photovoltaics and Electronics

Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has just released a new report that examines the impact on the electronics and related materials industries of recent Chinese policies to restrict the export of indium.  This activity has recently been formalized in a new Chinese five-year plan, which is designed to stimulate domestic Chinese high-tech industries.  NanoMarkets, the foremost supplier of information for the indium and ITO industries, claims that this move by the Chinese government will have significant negative implications for several classes of electronics products but also serve as a catalyst for growth in companies in the extraction and electronic materials industries.


China accounts for almost three-quarters of world Indium reserves and about half its Indium production; it therefore has enormous market power.  And China is willing to use it.  Although less reported than China's activity to restrict the export of rare earths, the Chinese government has recently cut export quotas on indium.  And it seems certain that from here on out, China will treat its Indium supply as a key strategic asset to be manipulated for the nation's geopolitical gain.

This situation is already beginning to worry Japanese display makers and in many ways it couldn't have come at a worse time for users of all kinds and nationalities.  The indium tin oxide (ITO) component in display bills-of-materials is already a cost burden and just at a time when, flat panel display prices are falling rapidly.  Also, while manufacturers of CIS/CIGS solar panels are hoping that 2011 will be the year that the many theoretical advantages of CIS/CIGS will be recognized by the PV marketplace, they may be burdened by higher prices for Indium, a core material.  Much the same situation can be found in the networking business where Indium Phosphide electronics is rapidly attracting attention as the way forward for high-speed chips.

In this report, NanoMarkets analyzes China's current Indium strategies and projects what its next moves might be.  In doing this we provide more certainty to a market that is riddled with political risk and has of late seen public squabbles between Chinese suppliers and users all over the world about prices should be for Indium.

But the main goal of this report is to show how we expect the user community to adjust to Chinese indium strategies and what opportunities that will create.  Will Korean and other Indium suppliers rush to fill a surge in demand for Indium?  Will end users grumble, but then go right on using higher priced Chinese indium?  Or will Chinese maneuvers boost markets for non-Indium alternatives; non-ITO transparent conductors, CdTe PV and GaAs chips, for example.

Activities in the Chinese Indium industry have the potential to have a ripple effect through display, PV and electronics businesses everywhere.  In this report we discuss how the likely scenarios will play out and how the future development of the Chinese Indium industry will impact the worldwide electronics and PV industries.  In addition to the overall market analysis, we also examine the current strategies of some of the leading Chinese Indium suppliers as well as how the Chinese government and financial industry is likely to support China's Indium suppliers (of which there are about 100) in the coming years.  

We have used both English- and Chinese- language sources to compile the report, and our findings will be of importance to business development and marketing executives in the display, PV and semiconductors industries as well as investors.  NanoMarkets brings to this study its many years of following the transparent conductor, display and photovoltaics markets at both the applications and materials level.  NanoMarkets' analysts have also had considerable experience with understanding the InP chip business.  Where appropriate, this report cites NanoMarkets' extensive estimates and forecasts of the markets impacted by Chinese indium supplies.

Findings from the report:

High indium prices may force the conservative display industry to shift to ITO alternatives, especially those using nanomaterials. NanoMarkets believes that indium is headed for prices at over $1,000 per kilo and higher prices have been suggested in the Chinese press; as much as $3,000 per kilo. 

Japanese indium users – who currently use 70 percent of China's indium production -- may find themselves without sufficient indium within a year.  As a result, NanoMarkets expects firms in countries that have not been large suppliers of indium to rush into the market.  This includes firms in Australia, Canada, Laos and Peru, among others.

For the first time, there will be significant amounts indium extraction from sources other than zinc mines; sources such as tin and tungsten mining.  Chinese indium policy seems certain to incentivize new sources outside of China to produce indium either through primary extraction methods or through recycling/reclamation. 

A sharp rise in the indium price will harm the resurgent CIGS PV industry but in turn will open the door for CdTe and c-Si PV which will become for more price competitive.  In addition, new classes of absorber materials (zinc or tin) might emerge that are CIGS-like but don't actually use indium.

About the report:

China is the world's largest supplier of indium by far.  As such its policies affect the markets for all indium related electronic materials.  In this report, NanoMarkets discusses the impact and opportunities of these policy shifts in the areas of displays, lighting, photovoltaics, compound semiconductor chips, lead-free solders, etc.

The report examines in depth evolving Chinese indium policy both in economic and political terms and explains how it will create new opportunities for both the extraction industry and the advanced materials industry worldwide.  In particular, it looks at the impact on markets for novel transparent conductors and compound semiconductors.  The information was sourced from NanoMarkets ongoing interview program in advanced materials and also from Chinese language sources.

To order this report:

: Chinese Indium Strategies:  Threats and Opportunities for Displays, Photovoltaics and Electronics

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Nicolas Bombourg



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