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Tue Sep 14, 2021, 11:49 AM

Tech industry braces for skyrocketing rare earth prices

TAIPEI -- Electronic hardware manufacturers are sweating as prices for rare-earth metals surge amid soaring demand and simmering tensions between the U.S. and China, the world's most important source of these vital materials.

For Max Hsiao, senior manager of an audio component maker based in Dongguan, China, the squeeze is coming from a magnetic alloy known as praseodymium neodymium. The price of the metal, which Hsiao's company uses to assemble speakers for Amazon and laptop maker Lenovo, has doubled since June last year to around 760,000 yuan ($117,300) a ton this August.

"The rising cost of this key magnetic material has been overwhelming, and that knocked at least 20 percentage points off our gross margin. ...That's really a huge impact," Hsiao told Nikkei Asia. "We don't see this trend reversing anytime soon."

Praseodymium and neodymium belong to a category of metals known as rare-earth elements and are used to make neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets. These permanent magnets, as they are known, are essential to a swath of tech gear -- everything from speakers and electric vehicle motors to medical devices and precision munitions.

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China is the only country that has a complete supply chain for rare earths from mining, to refining, to processing. As of last year, it controlled 55% of global production capacity and 85% of refining output for rare-earth elements, according to commodity research specialist Roskill. In January, Beijing hinted that it could introduce tighter controls exports, sparking higher prices.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Tech-industry-braces-for-skyrocketing-rare-earth-prices

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Reply Tech industry braces for skyrocketing rare earth prices (Original post)
Klaralven Sep 14 OP
fescuerescue Sep 14 #1
CentralMass Sep 14 #2
ananda Sep 14 #3

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Sep 14, 2021, 11:53 AM

1. Yea. the US is resource poor on this

We are absolutely dependent on enemies and pseudo-enemies for our supply.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Sep 14, 2021, 12:21 PM

2. :-(

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Tue Sep 14, 2021, 12:22 PM

3. I was warned about this by Honda early last month.

That's why I have an 8-year warranty on everything
on my car.

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