Rare earth magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnets as they produce significantly stronger magnetic fields compared to the ferrite and AlNiCo magnets. Two types of rare earth magnets currently available are Neodymium (NdFeB) magnets and Samarium-Cobalt (SmCo) magnets. Neodymium magnets have become very popular in recent years because they offer the highest magnetic field strength and magnetic stability but have a lower curie temperature. Compared to NdFeB magnets, SmCo magnets have a weaker magnetic field strength but a higher curie temperature and are extremely useful for applications requiring high field strength while operating at high temperatures. According to IMARC Group, a leading market research company based in India, the global rare earth magnet market has grown at a CAGR of around 7% during 2008-2015, reaching a market value of around US$ 10.2 billion in 2015.
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The report entitled “Rare Earth Magnet Market – Industry Trends, Manufacturing Process, Plant Setup, Machinery, Raw Materials, Cost and Revenue” has segmented the rare earth magnets market on the basis of type, application and region. On the basis of magnet type, the market has been divided into Neodymium magnets (NdFeB) and Samarium-Cobalt magnets (SmCo). The markets of the two types are individually analysed on the basis of key regions. NdFeb are the strongest and most affordable due to which they account for the majority of the global rare earth magnet market. Country-wise, China represents the largest producer as well as the consumer because it has a monopoly over the raw materials used to produce them. Japan represents the world’s second largest market where the demand is primarily driven by the fact that the country is home to some of the world’s largest automobile and electric appliance producers. The third and fourth largest markets are Europe and the USA respectively. Wide-ranging and rapidly expanding industrial applications, limited substitutes for Neodymium magnets and government initiatives to promote green technologies so as to decrease carbon emissions are several factors due to which the global demand for Neodymium magnets is expected to grow continuously.
Similar to NdFeB magnets, China represents both the largest producer as well as the largest consumer of SmCo magnets followed by the USA and Europe. Increasing defence spending is expected to be the biggest driver of these magnets in the coming years. SmCo magnets are particularly used in defence and aerospace sectors.
Rare earth magnets are used in a wide array of applications. On the basis of end-use industry, Motor and Generators constitute the largest sector, followed by HDD/CD/DVD, Transportation, Energy Production and Storage, Transducers and Drives, Clutches and Braking. The report also discusses the key players which are concentrated mainly in China, the USA, Europe and Japan. Globally, most of the manufacturers of rare earth magnets are based in China as a result of a secure and economical supply of key raw materials.
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