Magnet rare earth oxides market to increase fivefold by 2030 — report

Steel powder on magnet. (Reference image by Aney, Wikimedia Commons).

A new report by Adamas Intelligence states that the market for magnet rare earth oxides is expected to increase fivefold by 2030 to $15.65 billion from the current $2.98 billion.

According to the analyst, underpinning this growth are both total magnet rare earth oxide demand, which is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7%, and prices, which are projected to increase at CAGRs of 5.6% to 9.9% over the same period.

Shortages in raw materials are also expected to play a role in the performance of the rare earth oxide market. 

Underpinning this growth is total magnet rare earth oxide demand, which is forecasted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7%

“Constrained by a lack of new primary and secondary supply sources from 2022 onward, Adamas Intelligence forecasts that global shortages of neodymium, praseodymium and didymium oxide (or oxide equivalent) will collectively rise to 16,000 tonnes in 2030, an amount equal to roughly three-times Lynas Corporation’s annual output, or three-times MP Materials’ annual output, of neodymium and praseodymium oxide (or oxide equivalents),” the report reads.

The market researcher also sees the undersupply of Nd, Pr and Dy oxide generating global shortages of NdFeB alloy and powder, which will amount to 48,000 tonnes annually by 2030 – roughly the amount needed for some 25 to 30 million electric vehicle traction motors.

Electric traction motors, commercial EV traction motors and electric bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters are, in fact, expected to be jointly responsible for 23% of total global demand for NdFeB alloys and powders by the end of the decade.

“Considering additional uses of NdFeB magnets in EVs, including micromotors, sensors and speakers, we conservatively forecast that EVs will consume one out of every four tonnes of NdFeB alloy and powder produced globally in 2030,” says Adamas.

The context

In its report, Adamas explains that its forecast is based on the evaluation of ongoing developments such as the fact that in the second half of 2020, production of NdFeB alloy and powder surged to record-high levels fueling a drawdown of magnet rare earth oxide and metal inventories in China that propelled prices of neodymium, didymium, dysprosium and terbium to multi-year highs.

In addition, a coup underway in Myanmar — the main foreign supplier of heavy rare earth feedstocks into China-  through the first quarter of 2021, has contributed to pushing magnet rare earth oxide and metal prices to levels higher than earlier anticipated.

“Moreover, with the US recently rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change and unveiling ambitious plans for electrifying the nation’s vehicle production and fleets, we see scope for a broad continuation of last year’s demand resurgence through 2021, and beyond, with the US joining Europe and China as a major driver of the market’s growth,” the review states. 

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