SMM News: in today's world, China is not only the country with the largest production of rare earths, but also the largest consumer of rare earths in the world. According to the panoramic map of China's rare earth industry in 2019, China's rare earth consumption is about 57% of the world's. Then came Japan, which accounts for about 21 per cent of global consumption of rare earths.
In June, factory activity in China grew at its fastest pace since December 2019, and the country's emerging industries will be the main factor driving demand for rare earths. Since late June, although the domestic market price of light rare earths has dropped sharply, such as the price of neodymium oxide dropped from 380000 yuan / ton to 304500 yuan / ton, the market of medium and heavy rare earths is affected by supply and demand, and the price is relatively strong.
At present, China's manufacturing, infrastructure and medicine are the main areas of rare earth consumption. With many types of rare earth resources, large reserves and rich types of rare earth minerals, China is the only country that can provide all 17 kinds of rare earth metals. There are many signs that scientists can discover new uses of rare earths almost every three to five years, with the presence of rare earths in every scientific and technological innovation.
In terms of 5G technology, 5G technology can help rare earth enterprises to become more flexible and efficient production operations, improve safety and reduce maintenance costs. At the same time, it will also enable rare earth companies to enhance the use of automation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the Internet of things "smart factory". 5G is not the sudden advance or mutation of a certain technology, but the innovative integration of a series of new technologies. Except for the United States, China has occupied the initiative of 5G technology.
For example, the 5G mobile phone camera uses rare earth lanthanum glass, also known as lanthanide optical glass, which contains more rare earth lanthanum oxide (La2O3) in its composition, which has the characteristics of high refractive index and low dispersion. It is a new high-quality optical glass material necessary for the production of optoelectronic read-write lenses and imaging lenses, which can effectively expand the field of view of the lens, improve the imaging quality of the instrument, and make the lens miniaturized and lightweight.
In the field of new energy vehicles, the New Energy vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035) (draft) issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in December last year pointed out that the proportion of production and sales of new energy vehicles has increased from 20% of the original plan to 25%. By 2025, China will increase sales of new energy vehicles to 25 per cent from 20 per cent announced in 2017.
The development of new energy vehicles is bound to become the major trend of the automobile industry in the future, and the development of this industry is bound to drive the vigorous development of a large number of related industries such as the rare earth industry. Especially for hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, miniaturized high-power drive motors are necessary, and now these motors have to use a lot of rare earths.
In the field of medicine, rare earth elements and their compounds have been widely used in the fields of medicine and biochemistry in recent years because of their special physical and chemical properties. For example, the Baotou rare Earth Research and Development Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the research team of Wang Naixing of the Institute of physical and Chemical Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully developed a rare earth chemical shift reagent, which is mainly used as a consumable material for nuclear magnetic resonance imager. improve the signal clarity and signal-to-noise ratio of the nuclear magnetic resonance imaging system.
According to the analysis of people in the industry, rare earths will be used in almost every industry in the development of China's seven strategic emerging industries in the future, and this demand is often irreplaceable, even if it is replaced, it will bring negative effects such as the sacrifice of environment and performance. In terms of quantity and volume, the future industry represented by emerging industries may be the smallest part of China's industrial structure, but from the perspective of potential and prospect, cultivating future industry is to seize the opportunity of frontier technology industrialization and enhance the core competitiveness of enterprises.