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The Impact of Rare Earth Price Volatility on Distributors, Manufacturers

Rare earths, used in electronic and electrical goods, cause uncertainty in the market.

April 25, 2012
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Jaw-dropping price increases for rare earths the last few years sent distributors selling related products searching for ways to survive the volatility, with demand for the vital mineral fluctuating and supply declining. This article examines the impact of this volatility on electrical distributors and manufacturers.

In response to the market’s unprecedented price hikes – rising by as much as 500 percent – distributors that depend on rare earth metals have had to raise prices while looking for alternative suppliers and possible substitutes.

Rare earths are an abundant group of metals important to the manufacture of electronic goods, including flat-screen TVs and cell phones, to industrial products such as jet engines, lasers and fluorescent lights. It’s also become an irreplaceable metal used in clean energy products such as hybrid and electric vehicles, LEDs and wind turbines.

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