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Rare Earth Permanent Magnets Carry Development Potentials Comparable to NEV Sector [Institutional Comment]
Jul 28, 2022 11:46CST
With the rapid development of the robot industry, the rare earth permanent magnet industry is expected to usher in a new growth era comparable to that of new energy vehicles. At the same time, the acceleration of the industrialisation of humanoid robots may further increase the demand for high-performance NdFeB.

SHANGHAI, Jul 28 - CITIC Securities pointed out that during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, China will focus on the development of intelligent manufacturing. Industrial robot is an important starting point for the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry. High-performance NdFeB permanent magnet materials with high reliability and stability are important for producing industrial robots, and the core material of the servo system. With the rapid development of the robot industry, the rare earth permanent magnet industry is expected to usher in a new growth era comparable to that of new energy vehicles. At the same time, the acceleration of the industrialisation of humanoid robots may further increase the demand for high-performance NdFeB. Therefore, the strategic allocation value of the entire rare earth industry chain is with great potential.

Encouraged by policies and driven by intelligence, the development of industrial robots has entered the fast development track. 

Industrial robot is an important starting point for the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry, and relating research and development, manufacturing, and application have become an important indicator to measure the level of the country's high-end manufacturing industry. In recent years, China has issued a number of relevant policies to promote the healthy development of the industrial robot industry. The "14th Five-Year Plan" Robot Industry Development Plan proposes to promote welding robots, vacuum (clean) robots, logistics robots, collaborative robots, mobile operation robots, etc., and the industrial robot sector is expected to enter the fast track of development.

High-performance NdFeB is the core material of industrial robot servo system.

The high-performance NdFeB permanent magnet material with high reliability and stability is the core material for constructing the servo system of industrial robots, which enables the core components to achieve small size, light weight, quick response, and strong short-term overload capability. A servo system is a feedback control system used to accurately follow or reproduce a process. According to OFweek, in 2020, servo motors, precision reducers and controllers will account for 25%, 35%, and 10% of the cost respectively, with servo motors ranking second in the cost breakdown. With the rapid development of the industrial robot industry, the demand for high-performance NdFeB is expected to gain solid support. 

Tesla's entry is expected to be a milestone in the development of the robotics industry.

According to the data released by Tesla AIDAY, the humanoid robot Optimus is scheduled to be launched on September 30 this year. Its height is 1.72m, weight 57kg, load 20kg (5kg is added to the arm), and action speed up to 8 km/h. Tesla, with its deep technical accumulation, engineering integration capabilities and strong market appeal, is expected to accelerate the development of the humanoid robot industry chain. It is estimated that the high-performance NdFeB required by a single humanoid robot will be 4kg/unit. Assuming that the annual output reaches 5 million units by 2025, the demand for high-performance NdFeB materials will then amount to 20,000 mt.

The market size of high-performance NdFeB in the global robot industry may exceed 30 billion yuan by 2025.

If we assume that the price of high-performance NdFeB for robot servo motors is 500,000 yuan/mt, and the global robot industry demand for high-performance NdFeB will be 61,000 mt by 2025 in positive scenario, the global market size of high-performance NdFeB will reach 30.5 billion yuan. With the rapid development of the robot industry, the rare earth permanent magnet industry is expected to usher in a new growth era comparable to that of new energy vehicles.

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