LONDON, November 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The recent Metal Events' International Rare Earths Conference in Singapore was one of the most successful in its 10 year history. The two largest rare earths producers outside China, Lynas of Malaysia and Molycorp of the USA, kicked off the event with their views on market development. Environmental responsibility was a key theme in both presentations.
Kerry Satterthwaite, Roskill's senior analyst, outlined forecasts for the rare earths industry to 2018, based on Roskill's 40 years of experience in analysing this complex market, with market growth expected to average 5.9%py overall between 2013 and 2018. This headline figure masks different growth rates for each end-use, however, with each of the 17 individual rare earths having their own unique applications and market trends. The highest growth rates are expected for magnets, catalysts and ceramics with average annual growth rates exceeding 6% to 2018.
A primary focus of the conference was security of rare earths supply. The global industry is expected to undergo significant changes in 2015, as new sources of supply are scheduled to be commissioned and supply in China consolidates under a limited number of state owned enterprises. China is still the source of more than 80% of the world's rare earths supply, and Dennis Unkovic of Meyer Unkovic & Scott described his company's vision of the future for China and the five main challenges that face China's leaders: inequality; demographics; censorship; environment; fiscal policy.
Dr Alexander Pulkert of Siemens' Wind Power Division spoke candidly about the dilemma Siemens has been faced with as an end-user of NdFeB magnets since the rare earths price spike of 2011. He reiterated that strong permanent magnets remain the preferred option for magnetization of high-performance, low weight direct drive wind power generators and called for the rare earths industry to ensure stable supplies at stable prices.
Secondary material continues to play a part in the rare earths supply chain. There has been a large amount of research into the recycling of end-use products such as phosphors, NdFeB magnets and NiMH batteries, but it is likely to be a long time before there is a significant secondary supply of rare earths from used-product recycling. Developments are progressing rapidly, however, with Torsten Martwich, Lead Engineer of ATEA Environmental Technology of Australia describing his company's solution to rare earth acid bake kiln off-gas on recycling and technology. John Broxham of Jean Goldschmidt described rare earths recycling at Hydrometal Belgium in the European Union and the latest rare earths separation technology was also a theme for Jim McKenzie, President of Ucore Rare Metals who spoke in detail about nanotechnology. The use of secondary material in magnets, a topic also addressed during the conference, is growing in importance.
Prices were a focus for Khan Liu, General Manager of Integrated Magnetics, who examined trends in magnet pricing and sparked a frank debate on costs in the rare earth magnets supply chain. Scarlett Zhang of Fanya Non-Ferrous Metal Exchange gave a summary of Fanya's model and reiterated Fanya's aim to become the world's top minor metal transaction platform. Fanya has already had a significant impact on other rare and minor metals pricing, and the growth of similar exchanges in China, including the Baotou Rare Earths Exchange, present an opportunity to increase transparency, another complicating factor in the rare earths market.
Suzanne Shaw of Roskill concluded the conference with a synopsis of rare earth highs and lows in the catalyst industry. Suzanne explained how the rare earths value chain is complex, with multiple players, business drivers, supply models and geopolitical considerations at various stages of production.
Roskill's NEW Rare Earths: Market Outlook to 2018 report contains full estimates for 2013, profiles on major producers and projects, an assessment of key market trends and an outlook for supply, demand and prices to 2018.
This latest edition is available at of £5200 / US$8300 / €6200 from Roskill Information Services Ltd, 54 Russell Road, London SW19 1QL ENGLAND. Tel: +44-20-8417-0087, Email:[email protected] Web:http://www.roskill.co.uk/rare-earths.
Note to editors
Roskill Information Services Ltd. of London, UK is a leading provider of multi-client and bespoke market research services to the minerals and metals industry.
The new rare earths report provides a detailed review of the industry, with subsections on the activities of the leading producing companies. It also analyses consumption, trade and prices.
For further information on this report, please contact Robert Baylis, [email protected] or +44-20-8417-0087.
SOURCE Roskill Information Services