The global market for rare earth elements is expected to reach USD 10.96 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing demand for metal catalysts such as Cerium and Lanthanum is expected to drive the market over the next six years. These metal catalysts find applications across a host of industries including automobiles, metallurgy, phosphors and glass among others. In addition, growing market for permanent magnets is expected to particularly boost the demand for Neodymium.
Certain rare earth elements such as terbium, europium and yttrium find applications in the phosphor industry. Phosphor is a vital component in the manufacturing of LCD screens and CRT displays, the growing electronic industry; particularly in Asia Pacific is expected to increase the demand for these elements. Depleting reserves, stringent regulatory framework, complex extraction and capital intensive nature of the extraction process are expected to be key challenges for market participants over the next six years. Recycling of these elements from waste could prove to be a key opportunity for the market in the near future.
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Further Key findings from the study suggest:
- Cerium dominated the global market and accounted for nearly 40% of rare earth element consumption in 2013, finding a surge in demand as a catalyst. Other predominantly consumed elements include Lanthanum, Neodymium, Praseodymium and Yttrium among others.
- Key applications of rare earth elements include metallurgy, polishing, catalyst and magnets. Magnets and metallurgy was the largest application segment for the market and together accounted for over 40% of consumption in 2013. Metallurgy is expected to witness fastest growth over the forecast period due to the use of elements such as cerium, lanthanum, neodymium and yttrium, which are primarily added to improve physical properties of the metal.
- Asia Pacific was the largest consumer of rare earth elements in 2013, with estimated market revenue of over USD 3.74 billion. The region is also expected to witness fastest growth in terms of consumption, at an estimated CAGR of 11.9 % from 2014 to 2020. Growing industrialization and extraction activities in China are the primary factors responsible for high growth in Asia Pacific.
- North America was the second largest consumer of rare earth elements in 2013 and consumed over 14 kilo tons. However, the region is expected to lose market share to the high growth regions of Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific over the forecast period.
- Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co and China Rare Earth Holdings were the largest suppliers of rare earth element in 2013, together accounting for over 33% of total market revenue. Other key companies in the market include Indian Rare Earths Ltd, Molycorp, Great Western Mineral Group and Lynas Corporation Limited among others.
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For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global rare earth elements market on the basis of products, application and region: