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Rare Earth Elements Market

Rare Earth Elements Market Size, Share and Growth Forecast by product Type, by Application, by Sector, and by Region for 2024-2031

Rare Earth Elements Market Size and Share Analysis

The global rare earth elements (REE) market is set to expand at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2024 and 2031 and will rise high from US$5.8 Bn in 2024 to US$11.5 Bn by the end of 2031.

Attributes

Key Insights

Market Size (2024E)

US$5.8 Bn

Projected Market Value (2031F)

US$11.5 Bn

Forecast Growth Rate (CAGR 2024 to 2031)

10.2%

Historical Growth Rate (CAGR 2018 to 2023)

8.5%

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Market Introduction and Trend Analysis

Rare earth elements form the key components in various electronic gadgets, and appliances like laptops, mobile phones, refrigerators, electric motors, and loudspeakers.

REE are extensively used in making permanent magnet which is widely used in manufacturing of electric motors for electric vehicles, wind power, and several other applications.

The global market comprises 17 various chemical elements, including neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, cerium, scandium, lanthanum, europium, terbium, yttrium, and some others. All these elements have distinctive properties crucial for a broad spectrum of modern technologies.

Despite their nomenclature, these elements are not scarce in the earth’s crust but are frequently located in dispersed and intricate geological formations, posing extraction challenges.

Diverse industrial applications of these elements on account of their magnetic, luminescent, and catalytic properties are expected to drive the demand in the global rare earth elements market.

The demand for rare earth elements is experiencing a surge, driven by the increasing popularity of consumer durables such as laptops, and smartphones. This trend leads China to maintain dominance in the market, with around 85% of global sales of refined rare earth elements.

Moreover, rapid urbanization in developing countries, accompanied by infrastructural developments, is expected to escalate the consumption of rare earth elements.

The ongoing development activities, coupled with the digitization of emerging economies, also present significant opportunities for the market in the assessment years.

This trend underscores the crucial role rare earth metals play in various industrial applications. It also highlights their increasing importance in driving technological advancements, and global economic development.

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Historical Growth and Course Ahead

The global rare earth element market was valued at US$3.5 Bn in 2018, experiencing substantial growth at a CAGR of 8.5% through 2024. The growth in demand for electronic products, especially spiralled demand during and post-pandemic, spurred the market for rare earth elements across the globe. However, China reaped significant benefit from this during in this post pandemic wave.

The rare earth elements market is poised experience steady growth from 2024 to 2031, with a projected CAGR of 10.2%. The emerging applications of REE in clean energy sector are expected to create lucrative growth prospects for the market in upcoming years.

The popularity of electronic and hybrid vehicles in developed regions, fueled by environmental concerns and higher per capita expenditure, will sustain demand for rare earth metals in vehicle production.

Key Trends and Innovations Shaping the Market

  • Increasing applications of rare earth elements in electric vehicles
  • Rare earth elements proving their worth in renewable energy sector
  • Growing adoption of magneto-calorific technology in refrigeration systems
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Rare Earth Elements Market Growth Drivers

The Swelling EV Industry

The global EV market is on the rise, translating to the rise if demand for materials that are used in their manufacturing. Rare earth elements are used widely in EV motors. It is estimated that every EV motor requires about 2 to 4 Kgs of permanent magnets made of rare earth elements.

With the rising EV infrastructure across both developed and developing countries, as well as rising initiative and push from the government sector, the EV market continues to experience a flourishing outlook worldwide. Automotive industry’s decarbonization goal further uplifts this demand surge.

For instance, in 2023, about 14 million electric cars were sold in the global EV market, representing a massive 35% leap from the sales recorded in 2022. The global rare earth elements market is thus expected to thrive with the evolution of EV industry.

Development in Clean Energy Sector

Rare earth elements are crucial for advancing clean energy technologies like wind turbines, electric vehicles, and solar panels. The efficiency improvements in wind turbines, enabled by permanent magnets, are expected to fuel CAGR of over 50% in wind turbine installations.

By 2030, the cumulative energy capacity is forecast to reach 228 GW, showcasing the significant impact of rare earth elements on expanding sustainable energy solutions, thereby influencing the future of global energy sustainability.

Neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, and terbium are vital for creating powerful permanent magnets used in wind turbine generators.

A single wind turbine may require 1-2 tons of Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets per megawatt due to their exceptional strength, capability of exerting forces up to 1000 times their weight. This drives up demand for rare earth elements.

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Future Opportunities for Rare Earth Elements Manufacturers

Recycling of Rare Earth Elements

Recent research studies showcase some innovative yet costly recycling methods for rare earth elements. The Critical Material Institute (US) has proposed a technique involving the use of copper salts to recover 90-98% of REEs from discarded magnets.

Which this results in pure metals that can be utilized for crafting new magnets, the method boasts a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to traditional mining and processing methods.

Furthermore, recycling of neodymium from the US hard-disk drives has emerged as a promising avenue. This approach could potentially satisfy approximately 5% of the global demand for neodymium within a few years.

These advancements in recycling technologies offer a sustainable solution to alleviate the dependence on traditional mining and contribute to meeting the growing demand for rare earth metals.

Factors Impeding the Market Growth

Frequent Cost Fluctuations

The global rare earth market is primarily concentrated around major economies and the dynamics is heavily dependent on regional and geopolitical circumstances. Small disruptions in the region can heavily impact on the rare earth supply chains and skyrocket the prices.

Similar impact was seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prices of rare earth materials and permanent magnets were spiked by around 300% between 2020 and 2022.

However, after 2022, the prices of rare earth materials witnessed sharp drop due to excess supply and lowered demand from the end-use industries.

Such variable price impacts on the bargaining power of both suppliers and customers. This uncertain dynamic poses a significant hurdle for the new entrants into the market.

Category-wise Analysis

Product Category

Projected CAGR through 2031

Neodymium

10.7%

Lanthanum

2.7%

Neodymium Continues to Gain Traction in Permanent Magnets Production

In 2024, the global neodymium market reached a valuation of US$3.5 Bn, with a forecast CAGR of 10.7% expected by 2031. Neodymium, and Praseodymium hold paramount importance in the rare earth market, particularly for their indispensable role in manufacturing permanent magnets vital across various sectors such as industrial applications, consumer goods, renewable energies, and robotics.

Neodymium, on the other hand, stands out as a cornerstone element in rare earth minerals due to its pivotal contribution to high-performance magnets. One of the Neodymium's attributes is its high melting point, making it well-suited for applications involving elevated temperatures like electric motors.

When combined with iron and boron, it forms neodymium-iron-boron magnets, recognized as the strongest permanent magnets available. These magnets have sparked innovation across diverse industries and technologies, serving as the driving force behind advancements in EVs, wind turbines, and beyond.

Lanthanum to be the Second Most Abundant REE

The global market for lanthanum is estimated at US$130 Mn in 2024, with a projected growth rate of 2.7% by 2031-end. Lanthanum finds extensive use in Nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries, where it constitutes a significant portion of the negative electrode as lanthanum hydride.

For instance, the Toyota Prius Hybrid car incorporates approximately 4-5 kg of lanthanum in its Nickel-lanthanum hydride batteries, which are twice as efficient as standard lead-acid batteries.

Lanthanum plays a crucial role in glass and ceramic manufacturing by improving the alkali resistance of glass and being utilized in specialized optical glasses like infrared-absorbing glass.

Higher refractive index, and lower dispersion indices make lanthanum valuable as a doping agent in lenses for cameras, and telescopes.

Application-wise Analysis

Application Sector

Projected CAGR through 2031

Catalysis Process

4.2%

Growing Demand for Cerium in Catalysis Process

The global cerium market, valued at US$186 Mn in 2024, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.7% by 2031. Cerium plays a crucial role in reducing emissions from internal combustion vehicles and enhancing catalyst purification rates.

Cerium Oxide finds applications in steam and dry methane reforming to produce syngas mixtures, while its combination with noble metals or other oxides enhances oxidation or hydrogenation processes.

Moreover, the demand for cerium is increasing due to its diverse applications in fluidized cracking catalysis in oil and petroleum refineries. Cerium oxide enhance catalyst activity and prevent the loss of acid sites during the catalysis process.

It has also been used as a polishing compound for glass and electronics. Stringent pollution regulations enforced globally further propel market growth.

Sector-wise Analysis

Sector

Projected CAGR through 2031

Electronics

7.9 %

Exceptional Adoption of REE Prevails in Electronics Industry

Rare earth metals, including neodymium, praseodymium, yttrium, terbium, and europium, are vital to the electronics industry. Neodymium is crucial for making powerful magnets used in mobile phones, medical equipment, electric cars, wind turbines, and hard drives. Praseodymium is essential for aircraft engines and studio lighting.

The luminescent properties of yttrium, terbium, and europium enhance fluorescent tubes, LED lights, and LCD screens in smartphones and TVs. Lanthanum is key for digital camera lenses and hybrid vehicle batteries.

These metals, though used in small amounts, are indispensable for modern electronics, making the electronics industry a major consumer of rare earth metals. In the coming decade the growth in electronics market will directly impact on the REE market.

Country-wise Analysis

Country

CAGR through 2031

China

10.4%

US

7.0%

 

China Dominates the Worldwide Rare Earth Elements Supply Chain

China, renowned as the foremost producer and exporter of rare earth metals globally, has a flourishing automotive and consumer electronics manufacturing sector, achieving a valuation exceeding US$3.6 Bn in 2024.

With advanced processing techniques utilized in the production of permanent magnets, many countries are compelled to export rare earth ores to China.

China currently accounts for approximately 60% of the world's rare earth elements production and processes close to 90%, effectively granting it a monopoly in the market. To maintain this dominant position, China has imposed a ban on the export of processing technology.

With its matured market, the country has gained significant leverage to wield control over the global market. Notably, China has made substantial advancements in various industries, including electronics, electric vehicles, and nuclear energy, by harnessing rare earth elements.

Over the past decade, China's nuclear power capacity has nearly doubled, underscoring its growing influence in the energy sector. Moreover, the surplus production of rare earths in China adequately fulfils global demand, thereby contributing to an uplift in the GDP.

Demand Takes off in the US with Booming Defense Manufacturing

In the US, MP Materials owns the sole rare earth elements mine, accounting for approximately 2.3 million metric tons of proven reserves. However, despite this significant reserve base, the US heavily relies on imports for REEs, with approximately 78% sourced from China.

In 2023 alone, imports of REEs into the US amounted to roughly US$200 Mn, driven primarily by the escalating consumer demand for electronics, and EVs.

Moreover, the demand for REEs is propelled by the renewable energy and defense sectors, utilizing these elements to advance their technologies. For instance, every F-35 stealth fighter aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin in the US roughly uses 400 Kgs of REE in their electronic warfare systems.

With the growing orders for this advanced fighter jet from all across the world, the demand for rare earth elements will flourish within the defense sector of the country.

Competitive Landscape Analysis

The global rare earth elements market is largely dominated by Chinese firms, prompting top players to innovate new extraction techniques with reduced carbon footprints. These initiatives aim to mitigate environmental impact and address sustainability concerns associated with rare earth element extraction.

Moreover, manufacturers are exploring environmentally sustainable recycling methods to minimize waste and reliance on virgin materials, thus promoting circular economy principles.

For instance, Noveon Magnetics in San Marcos, Texas, pioneers in producing recycled neodymium magnets without the need for rare earth extraction. This approach achieves over 99% recycling, cutting energy use by approximately 90% and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by half compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

Top Industry Players Profiled

  • Lynas Rare Earth Ltd
  • China Rare Earth Holding Ltd
  • Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd
  • China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd
  • Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd
  • Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Grp Co Ltd
  • Grinm Advanced Materials Co Ltd
  • MP Materials
  • Shenghe Resources holding Co. Ltd
  • IREL Ltd

Key Recent Developments

March, 2024: Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has appointed global engineering company Bechtel Mining and Metals to conduct Front-End Engineering Design services for rare earth elements in Dubbo Project in New South Wales. The strategic partnership with Bechtel will enhance newer trade in the US, and Australia. This trade can impact the costs of rare earth elements in both North America, and Australia.

Rare Earth Elements Market Report Scope

Attribute

Details

Forecast Period

2024 to 2031

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2023

Market Analysis

US$ Million for Value

Tons for Volume

Key Regions Covered

  • North America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia & Oceania
  • Latin America  
  • Middle East & Africa

Key Countries Covered

  • U.S.
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • U.K.
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • India
  • ASEAN
  • ANZ
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • GCC
  • South Africa

Key Market Segments Covered

  • Product Type
  • Application
  • Sector
  • Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Lynas Rare Earth Ltd.
  • China Rare Earth Holding Ltd.
  • Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd.
  • China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd.
  • Xiamen Tungsten Co. Ltd.
  • Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Grp Co. Ltd.
  • Grinm Advanced Materials Co Ltd.
  • MP Materials
  • Shenghe Resources holding Co. Ltd.
  • IREL Ltd.

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Trade Statistics and Price Trend Analysis
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives  

Customization & Pricing

Available upon request

Rare Earth Elements Market Segmentation

By Product Type:

  • Neodymium
  • Praseodymium
  • Cerium
  • Dysprosium
  • Lanthanum
  • Europium
  • Terbium
  • Yttrium
  • Gadolinium
  • Misc.

By Application:

  • Permanent Magnet
  • Catalyst
  • Glass and Ceramics
  • Metallurgy and Alloys
  • Phosphors
  • Misc.

By Sector:

  • Automotive
  • Clean Energy
  • Oil and Gas
  • Electronics
  • Healthcare
  • Misc.

By Region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia & Oceania
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

- Companies Covered in This Report -

- Frequently Asked Questions -

The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% through the end of the projection period - 2031.

As of 2024, the rare earth elements market size is around US$5.8 billion.

China holds the largest market share as of 2024.

The prominent players in the market are Lynas Rare Earth Ltd, China Rare Earth Holding Ltd, and Guangdong Rare Earth Industry Grp Co Ltd.

The electric vehicles segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period.

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