A report published by Research and Markets focuses on the global permanent magnet industry and includes data on current market trends and sector forecasts. The “2013 Report on the International Permanent Magnet Market – Trends & Forecast To 2018” also includes company profiles on the major permanent magnet producers.
The report states that the permanent magnet market is witnessing very high growth on account of rising demand for efficiency and increased electrification in all facets of life. The demand for permanent magnets is growing, especially from the automotive and wind energy sectors. It is increasingly used for electric power steering, electric vehicles, and hybrid vehicles. The wind turbine market is another major growth area for permanent magnets.
Permanent magnets are made of diverse materials that range from ferrite to rare earth elements. NdFeB permanent magnets, due to their wide areas of applications and numerous advantages, are used in most of the industries, hence they dominate the market. Presently, China has the monopoly in the supply of rare earth minerals that are necessary to produce rare earth magnets. It has huge reserves of rare earth minerals that account for 23% of the world’s total rare earth reserves. China produces a vast quantity of two primarily important rare earth minerals required to produce, dysprosium (production share of 99%) and neodymium (production share of 95%).
The report notes that due to the supply constraint from China, other countries across the globe are finding new ways to reduce the dependence on China for the rare earth minerals. The US government for example is keen on domestic production of the entire supply chain of permanent magnets, which it identifies as critical elements for the defence and energy industry.