China's dominance fuels rare earth supply fears

PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

Published: June 4, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: June 4, 2013 11:56 am ET

Related to this story

Topics China
Companies & Associations

China's domination in the production of rare earths – materials essential for manufacturing and technologies in a number of sectors – is leaving countries vulnerable to the availability of supplies, according to new research.

A new report from IHS Chemical argues that growing global dependence on diverse technologies such as computers, smartphones, defense systems, offshore wind turbines and hybrid automobiles "has left manufacturers and countries vulnerable to the availability and uninterrupted supply (largely from China) of some key elements used to produce these technologies."

China accounted for more than 85 percent of world rare earth production in 2012, while the country also consumed 70 percent of world production in the same year.

Supply disruptions were a major concern, said author of the IHS report, Samantha Wietlisbach.

"Such disruptions over the last few years interrupted Japanese automotive and electronics industry production and sent shock waves through the global manufacturing industries that rely on rare earths," Wietlisbach said.

"Other governments have realized their national security interests and industrial sectors were vulnerable, since China dominates the market in terms of both supply and demand," she said. "The supply shortages also resulted in unprecedented price spikes, impacting global consumers of these materials.

"It was a wake-up call to address diversity of supply and to explore possible substitutions. This, in turn, has led to many new mining projects being announced globally, with rare earth ore as the main product."


Comments

China's dominance fuels rare earth supply fears

PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

Published: June 4, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: June 4, 2013 11:56 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Uway beginning US extruder production June 1 in Ohio

April 15, 2015 3:28 pm ET

Uway Extrusion LLC, a 4-year-old company that builds extruders in China using components from the United States and Europe, will begin U.S....    More

Image

Inteva expands global presence with new plants, relocation

April 14, 2015 4:15 pm ET

Global automotive supplier Inteva Products LLC has opened two new facilities globally and relocated a third.    More

Image

Yanfeng, JCI JV set to become world's biggest auto interior supplier

April 14, 2015 2:36 pm ET

Johnson Controls Inc. announced Tuesday the finalization of an agreement to form a joint venture with Chinese auto supplier Yanfeng Automotive Trims...    More

Image

Chinaplas 2015 ready to embrace a 'new era manufacturing'

April 14, 2015 11:33 am ET

The organizer of the Chinaplas trade show, which has witnessed the globalization of the plastics industry over the past couple of decades, says the...    More

China's March exports plummet

April 14, 2015 11:05 am ET

China has reported the sharpest export decline for more than a year in March, dipping 14.6 percent year-on-year. Plastics product exports did even wor...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events