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Background on Minor Metals: A Market Analysis

Understand the Markets

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Minor Metals: A Market Analysis

Platinum Group Metals: Issues and Opportunities

Thintri, Inc. announces the release of Minor Metals: A Market Analysis, a new report that explores markets in minor metals. Minor metals are generally defined as those not sourced directly but that rather occur as byproducts in sourcing base metals. This report covers the minor metals excluding rare earths, precious metals and platinum group metals, leaving the remaining 25 metals offering a broad range of characteristics, applications and market opportunities.

Thintri’s report assesses sourcing and applications for each metal, cautions such as health, safety, and/or environmental concerns, and projects market growth and prices over the forecast period. Market forecasts are provided going out to 2024.  

Minor Metals Included in the Report:

  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Bismuth
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Gallium
  • Germanium
  • Hafnium
  • Indium
  • Lithium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Mercury
  • Molybdenum
  • Niobium
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Tantalum
  • Tellurium
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten
  • Vanadium
  • Zirconium

Each chapter covering a single metal includes the following sections:

  • Background
  • Sourcing and Production
  • Safety, Health and the Environment
  • Applications
  • Market Analysis

Background on Minor Metals: A Market Analysis

“Minor metals” are anything but. The 25 metals covered in this report, which excludes rare earths, precious metals and platinum group metals, are found in a wide range of industries. Minor metals, many of them irreplaceable in critical applications, in most cases are not sourced directly but only by their presence with other base metal ores with their own distinct markets. This characteristic often separates supply from actual market demand and creates fluctuations in price and availability. Some important minor metals are found in only a few, sometimes politically unstable countries, further contributing to market instability. Toxic metals like mercury and arsenic face dwindling markets as health and environmental regulations make their continued use problematic, while cadmium, also highly toxic, faces even more stringent regulation combined with growing demand in electronics and solar power.

The Thintri market study, Minor Metals: A Market Analysis, provides, for each minor metal included in the report, background information and a study of sourcing and production, as well as discussion of environmental, health, safety and nutrition issues. Each metal is also subjected to an analysis of current applications and market, with forecasts for demand going out to 2024, and price projections based on the influences of relevant markets and the factors affecting those markets.          

Understand the Markets

Commodities, in their demand and prices, have had a few difficult years, and this certainly includes minor metals. The picture has improved, and present expert opinion presents a more favorable outlook for the forecast period. The Thintri study, Minor Metals: A Market Analysis, begins with an analysis of the end markets that most affect demand and availability for minor metals in general, such as currency markets, aerospace and defense, semiconductors, electronics, consumer products, automotive and others. The suitability of substitutes for some metals and their likely effects on demand are also discussed for individual metals.

Many minor metals are important constituents of more than one end market, and the report’s market forecasts balance the relative influence of these various factors on overall demand and pricing.

For many of the metals covered in the report, the forecast period represents a time of significant opportunity. For others, the future is bleak. And for a number, life will continue on pretty much as it has in the past. Thintri’s study, Minor Metals: A Market Analysis, provides a basis for the evaluation of opportunities for these metals in investment and trading, their availability and suitability for manufacture and production of numerous products, and a survey of the commercial and industrial landscape affecting these materials. 


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Report Table of Contents:

CHAPTER 1 MARKET DRIVERS: OVERVIEW 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Currencies 1

1.3 Steel 1

1.4 Aerospace & Defense 2

1.5 Semiconductors 3

1.6 Consumer Products, Electronics 4

1.7 Automotive 4

1.8 Commodities 6

1.9 Nuclear 7

1.10 A Note About Prices 8

CHAPTER 2 ANTIMONY (Sb) 9

2.1 Background 9

2.2 Sourcing and Production 9
        Figure 2-1 Geographic Segmentation, Antimony Production 11

2.3 Safety and Health 11

2.4 Applications 11
        Figure 2-2 Antimony Applications by Share 13

2.5 Market Analysis: Antimony 13
        Figure 2-3 Antimony Demand Forecast: Metal Hardening, Flame Retardation 14
        Figure 2-4 Antimony Demand Forecast: General Industry, Semiconductors, Other 15
        Figure 2-5 Total Antimony Demand Forecast 15
        Figure 2-6 Antimony Price Projection 16

CHAPTER 3 ARSENIC (As) 17

3.1 Background 17

3.2 Sourcing and Production 17
        Figure 3-1 Geographic Segmentation, Arsenic Production 18

3.3 Safety and Health 18

3.4 Applications 18
        Figure 3-2 Arsenic Applications by Share 20

3.5 Market Analysis: Arsenic 20
        Figure 3-3 Arsenic Demand Forecast: Agriculture and Construction 21
        Figure 3-4 Arsenic Demand Forecast: General Industry and Electronics 21
        Figure 3-5 Total Arsenic Demand Forecast 22
        Figure 3-6 Arsenic Price Projection 22

CHAPTER 4 BERYLLIUM (Be) 23

4.1 Background 23

4.2 Sourcing and Production 23
        Figure 4-1 Geographic Segmentation, Beryllium Production 24

4.3 Safety, Health and the Environment 24

4.4 Applications 25
        Figure 4-2 Beryllium Applications by Share 28
        Figure 4-3 Beryllium Applications by Share, End Markets 28

4.5 Market Analysis: Beryllium 28
        Figure 4-4 Beryllium Demand Forecast: Electronic Components, Electronic Substrates 29
        Figure 4-5 Beryllium Demand Forecast: Alloying 29
        Figure 4-6 Total Beryllium Demand Forecast 30
        Figure 4-7 Beryllium Price Projection 30

CHAPTER 5 BISMUTH (Bi) 31

5.1 Background 31

5.2 Sourcing and Production 31
        Figure 5-1 Geographic Segmentation, Bismuth Production 32

5.3 Safety and Health 32

5.4 Applications 32
        Figure 5-2 Bismuth Applications by Share 33

5.5 Market Analysis: Bismuth 33
        Figure 5-3 Bismuth Demand Forecast: Alloys, Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals 35
        Figure 5-4 Bismuth Demand Forecast: Metal Additives and Other 35
        Figure 5-5 Total Bismuth Demand Forecast 36
        Figure 5-6 Bismuth Price Projection 36

CHAPTER 6 CADMIUM (Cd) 37

6.1 Background 37

6.2 Sourcing and Production 37
        Figure 6-1 Geographic Segmentation, Cadmium Production 38

6.3 Health, Safety and the Environment 38

6.4 Applications 40
        6.4.1 Coatings 40
        6.4.2 Pigments 42
        6.4.3 Batteries 43
        6.4.4 Alloying 45
        6.4.5 Electronics and Semiconductors 47
        6.4.6 Other Applications 47
        Figure 6-2 Cadmium Applications by Share 49

6.5 Market Analysis: Cadmium 49
        Figure 6-3 Cadmium Demand Forecast: Batteries and Coatings 51
        Figure 6-4 Cadmium Demand Forecast: Pigments and Plastic Stabilizers 51
        Figure 6-5 Total Cadmium Demand Forecast 52
        Figure 6-6 Cadmium Price Projection 52

CHAPTER 7 CHROMIUM (Cr) 53

7.1 Background 53

7.2 Sourcing and Production 53
        Figure 7-1 Geographic Segmentation, Chromium Production 54

7.3 Safety, Health and the Environment 54

7.4 Applications 55
        Figure 7-2 Chromium Applications by Share 56

7.5 Market Analysis: Chromium 56
        Figure 7-3 Chromium Demand Forecast: Alloying and Plating 57
        Figure 7-4 Chromium Demand Forecast, Chemical Processing and Other 57
        Figure 7-5 Total Chromium Demand Forecast 58
        Figure 7-6 Chromium Price Projection: Ingot 58

CHAPTER 8 COBALT (Co) 59

8.1 Background 59

8.2 Sourcing and Production 60
        Figure 8-1 Geographic Segmentation: Cobalt Production 61

8.3 Health, Safety and Nutrition 61

8.4 Applications 62
        Figure 8-2 Cobalt Applications by Share 63

8.5 Market Analysis: Cobalt 63
        Figure 8-3 Cobalt Demand Forecast: Batteries, Alloying and Tools 64
        Figure 8-4 Cobalt Demand Forecast: Catalysts, Pigments and Magnets 65
        Figure 8-5 Cobalt Demand Forecast: Soaps and Other 65
        Figure 8-6 Total Cobalt Demand Forecast 66
        Figure 8-7 Cobalt Price Projection 66

CHAPTER 9 GALLIUM (Ga) 67

9.1 Background 67

9.2 Sourcing and Production 67
       Figure 9-1 Geographic Segmentation, Gallium Production 68

9.3 Health, Safety and the Environment 68

9.4 Applications 69

9.4.1 Industry 69

9.4.2 Semiconductors 69
        Figure 9-2 Gallium Applications by Share 72

9.5 Market Analysis: Gallium 72
        Figure 9-3 Gallium Demand Forecast: Integrated Circuits, Photonics, Alloying & Other 73
        Figure 9-4 Total Gallium Demand Forecast 74
        Figure 9-5 Gallium Price Projection 74

CHAPTER 10 GERMANIUM (Ge) 75

10.1 Background 75

10.2 Sourcing and Production 75
        Figure 10-1 Geographic Segmentation, Germanium Production 75

10.3 Safety and Health 75

10.4 Applications 76
        Figure 10-2 Germanium Applications by Share 77

10.5 Market Analysis: Germanium 77
        Figure 10-3 Germanium Demand Forecast: Fiber Optics, IR Optics, Electronics/Solar 78
        Figure 10-4 Germanium Demand Forecast: Polymer Catalysts, Other 78
        Figure 10-5 Total Germanium Demand Forecast 79
        Figure 10-6 Germanium Price Projection 79

CHAPTER 11 HAFNIUM (Hf) 80

11.1 Background 80

11.2 Sourcing and Production 80
        Figure 11-1 Geographic Segmentation, Hafnium Production 81

11.3 Safety and Health 82

11.4 Applications 82
        11.4.1 Nuclear 82
        11.4.2 Alloying 82
        11.4.3 Other applications 83
        Figure 11-2 Hafnium Applications by Share 84

11.5 Market Analysis: Hafnium 84
        Figure 11-3 Hafnium Demand Forecast: Superalloys – Aerospace and Non-Aerospace 85
        Figure 11-4 Hafnium Demand Forecast: Nuclear, Hf Oxide 86
        Figure 11-5 Hafnium Demand Forecast: Plasma Tools, Chemical Processing, Thin Films 86
        Figure 11-6 Total Hafnium Demand Forecast 87
        Figure 11-7 Hafnium Price Projection 87

CHAPTER 12 INDIUM (In) 88

12.1 Background 88
12.2 Sourcing and Production 88
        Figure 12-1 Geographic Segmentation, Indium Production 89

12.3 Safety and Health 89

12.4 Applications 89
        Figure 12-2 Indium Applications by Share 91

12.5 Market Analysis: Indium 91
        Figure 12-3 Indium Demand Forecast: Coatings 93
        Figure 12-4 Indium Demand Forecast: Alloys and Plating 93
        Figure 12-5 Indium Demand Forecast: Semiconductors and Electrical Components 94
        Figure 12-6 Total Indium Demand Forecast 94
        Figure 12-7 Indium Price Projection 95

CHAPTER 13 LITHIUM (Li) 96

13.1 Background 96

13.2 Sourcing and Production 96
        Figure 13-1 Geographic Segmentation, Lithium Production 97

13.3 Health and Safety: Metallic Lithium 98

13.4 Applications 98
        13.4.1 General Industry 98
        13.4.2 Batteries and Power Storage 99
        13.4.3 Medicine 100
        Figure 13-2 Lithium Applications by Share 101

13.5 Market Analysis: Lithium 101
        Figure 13-3 Lithium Batteries, Cost per Kilowatt-Hour 102
        Figure 13-4 Lithium Demand Forecast: Ceramics & Glass, Batteries 103
        Figure 13-5 Lithium Demand Forecast: Lubricants, Medical, Other 103
        Figure 13-6 Total Lithium Demand Forecast 104
        Figure 13-7 Lithium Price Projection: Ingot 104

CHAPTER 14 MAGNESIUM (Mg) 105

14.1 Background 105

14.2 Sourcing and Production 106
        Figure 14-1 Geographic Segmentation, Magnesium Production 106

14.3 Health, Safety & Nutrition 106

14.4 Applications 107
        Figure 14-2 Magnesium Applications by Share 109

14.5 Market Analysis: Magnesium 109
        Figure 14-3 Magnesium Demand Forecast: Alloying Aluminum, Die Casting 110
        Figure 14-4 Magnesium Demand Forecast: Other Metallurgical, Other 111
        Figure 14-5 Total Magnesium Demand Forecast 111
        Figure 14-6 Magnesium Price Projection: Ingot 112

CHAPTER 15 MANGANESE (Mn) 113

15.1 Background 113

15.2 Sourcing and Production 113
        Figure 15-1 Geographic Segmentation, Manganese Production 114

15.3 Health, Nutrition and Safety 114

15.4 Applications 115
        Figure 15-2 Manganese Applications by Share 117

15.5 Market Analysis: Manganese 117
        Figure 15-3 Manganese Demand Forecast: Alloying Steel 118
        Figure 15-4 Manganese Demand Forecast: Alloying Aluminum, Alloying Other, Other Applications 118
        Figure 15-5 Total Manganese Demand Forecast 119
        Figure 15-6 Manganese Price Projection 119

CHAPTER 16 MERCURY (Hg) 120

16.1 Background 120

16.2 Sourcing and Production 120
        Figure 16-1 Geographic Segmentation, Mercury Production 121

16.3 Health, Safety and the Environment 121

16.4 Applications 122
        Figure 16-2 Mercury Applications by Share 123

16.5 Market Analysis: Mercury 123
        Figure 16-3 Mercury Demand Forecast: Catalysts, Electrical Components 124
        Figure 16-4 Total Mercury Demand Forecast 124
        Figure 16-5 Mercury Demand Forecast: Mining, Other 125
        Figure 16-6 Mercury Price Projection 125

CHAPTER 17 MOLYBDENUM (Mo) 126

17.1 Background 126

17.2 Sourcing and Production 126
        Figure 17-1 Geographic Segmentation, Molybdenum Production 127

17.3 Health, Safety and Nutrition 127

17.4 Applications 128
        Figure 17-2 Molybdenum Applications by Share 130

17.5 Market Analysis: Molybdenum 130
        Figure 17-3 Molybdenum Demand Forecast: Alloying 131
        Figure 17-4 Molybdenum Demand Forecast: Chemicals, Catalysts and Pigments 131
        Figure 17-5 Molybdenum Demand Forecast: Lubricants and Pure Metal 132
        Figure 17-6 Total Molybdenum Demand Forecast 132
        Figure 17-7 Molybdenum Price Projection 133

CHAPTER 18 NIOBIUM (Nb) 134

18.1 Background 134

18.2 Sourcing and Production 134
        Figure 18-1 Geographic Segmentation, Niobium Production 135

18.3 Health and Safety 135

18.4 Applications 136
        Figure 18-2 Niobium Applications by Share 138

18.5 Market Analysis: Niobium 138
        Figure 18-3 Niobium Demand Forecast: Steels and Superalloys 139
        Figure 18-4 Niobium Demand Forecast: Optics and Electronics 139
        Figure 18-5 Niobium Demand Forecast: Industrial and Other 140
        Figure 18-6 Total Niobium Demand Forecast 140
        Figure 18-7 Niobium Price Projection 141

CHAPTER 19 SELENIUM (Se) 142

19.1 Background 142

19.2 Sourcing and Production 142
        Figure 19-1 Geographic Segmentation, Selenium Production 143

19.3 Health, Safety and Nutrition 143

19.4 Applications 144
        Figure 19-2 Selenium Applications by Share 146

19.5 Market Analysis: Selenium 146
        Figure 19-3 Selenium Demand Forecast: Alloying and Glass Making 147
        Figure 19-4 Selenium Demand Forecast: Agriculture and Chemicals 147
        Figure 19-5 Selenium Demand Forecast: Pigments, Electronics and Other 148
        Figure 19-6 Total Selenium Demand Forecast 148
        Figure 19-7 Selenium Price Projection, Ingot 149

CHAPTER 20 SILICON (Si) 150

20.1 Background 150

20.2 Sourcing and Production 151
        Figure 20-1 Geographic Segmentation, Silicon Production 151

20.3 Safety, Health and Nutrition 152

20.4 Applications 152
        Figure 20-2 Silicon Applications by Share 154

20.5 Market Analysis: Silicon 154
        Figure 20-3 Silicon Demand Forecast: Alloying, Silicones 155
        Figure 20-4 Silicon Demand Forecast: Electronics and Industrial 155
        Figure 20-5 Total Silicon Demand Forecast 156
        Figure 20-6 Silicon Price Projection 156

CHAPTER 21 TANTALUM (Ta) 157

21.1 Background 157

21.2 Sourcing and Production 157
        Figure 21-1 Geographic Segmentation, Tantalum Production 158

21.3 Health and Safety 158

21.4 Applications 158
        Figure 21-2 Tantalum Applications by Share 160

21.5 Market Analysis: Tantalum 160
        Figure 21-3 Tantalum Demand Forecast: Electronics and Alloying 161
        Figure 21-4 Tantalum Demand Forecast: Industrial and Medical 162
        Figure 21-5 Total Tantalum Demand Forecast 162
        Figure 21-6 Tantalum Price Projection 163

CHAPTER 22 TELLURIUM (Te) 164

22.1 Background 164

22.2 Sourcing and Production 164
        Figure 22-1 Geographic Segmentation: Tellurium Production 165

22.3 Safety and Health 165

22.4 Applications 166
        Figure 22-2 Tellurium Applications by Share 167

22.5 Market Analysis: Tellurium 167
        Figure 22-3 Tellurium Demand Forecast: Steels and Other Alloying 168
        Figure 22-4 Tellurium Demand Forecast: Industrial and Rubber 168
        Figure 22-5 Tellurium Demand Forecast: Solar Panels and Electronics 169
        Figure 22-6 Total Tellurium Demand Foreacast 169
        Figure 22-7 Tellurium Price Projection: Ingot 170

CHAPTER 23 TITANIUM (Ti) 171

23.1 Background 171

23.2 Sourcing and Production 171
        Figure 23-1 Geographic Segmentation, Titanium Production 173

23.3 Safety and Health 173

23.4 Applications 174

        23.4.1 Chemicals 174
        23.4.2 Pigments 174
        Figure 23-2 Titanium: Metallic vs. Oxide 175
        23.4.3 Industry and Aerospace 176
        23.4.4 Medicine 177
        23.4.5 Consumer Products 177
        Figure 23-3 Metallic Titanium Applications by Share 178

23.5 Market Analysis: Titanium 178
        Figure 23-4 Titanium Demand Forecast: Industrial and Aerospace 179
        Figure 23-5 Titanium Demand Forecast: Defense and Medical 179
        Figure 23-6 Titanium Demand Forecast: Consumer and Automotive 180
        Figure 23-7 Total Titanium Demand Forecast 180
        Figure 23-8 Titanium Price Projection 181

CHAPTER 24 TUNGSTEN (W) 182

24.1 Background 182

24.2 Sourcing and Production 182
        Figure 24-1 Geographic Segmentation, Tungsten Production 183

24.3 Safety and Health 183

24.4 Applications 183
        24.4.1 Metallic Tungsten 183
        24.4.2 Chemical Tungsten 184
        24.4.3 Tungsten Carbide and Alloys 184
        Figure 24-2 Tungsten Applications by Share 186

24.5 Market Analysis: Tungsten 186
        Figure 24-3 Tungsten Demand Forecast: Hard Metals and Alloys 187
        Figure 24-4 Tungsten Demand Forecast: Chemicals and Other 187
        Figure 24-5 Total Tungsten Demand Forecast 188
        Figure 24-6 Tungsten Price Projection 188

CHAPTER 25 VANADIUM (V) 189

25.1 Background 189

25.2 Sourcing and Production 189
        Figure 25-1 Geographic Segmentation: Vanadium Production 190

25.3 Safety and Health 190

25.4 Applications 191
        Figure 25-2 Vanadium Applications by Share 193

25.5 Market Analysis: Vanadium 193
        Figure 25-3 Vanadium Demand Forecast: Steel Alloys and Titanium Alloys 194
        Figure 25-4 Vanadium Demand Forecast: Chemicals and Other 194
        Figure 25-5 Total Vanadium Demand Forecast 195
        Figure 25-6 Vanadium Price Projection 195

CHAPTER 26 ZIRCONIUM (Zr) 196

26.1 Background 196

26.2 Sourcing and Production 196
        Figure 26-1 Geographic Segmentation, Zirconium Production 197

26.3 Safety and Health 197

26.4 Applications 198
        Figure 26-2 Zirconium Applications by Share 200

26.5 Market Analysis: Zirconium 200
        Figure 26-3 Zirconium Demand Forecast: Nuclear 201
        Figure 26-4 Zirconium Demand Forecast: Alloys, Industrial and Other 201
        Figure 26-5 Total Zirconium Demand Forecast 202
        Figure 26-6 Zirconium Price Projection 202



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