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Adamas: Japan’s consumption of magnet rare earths increased only 11% in 2018; overall consumption up just 2%

After growing at around 8% annually since 2013, Japan’s rare earth consumption increased by a mere 2% in 2018 as consumption of lanthanum and cerium dipped year-over-year on account of weak demand from the catalyst and abrasives end-use sectors, according to a new report from Adamas Intelligence.

After growing at an average of 18% annually since 2013, Japan’s consumption of PrNd oxide (and Nd oxide)—used in NdFeB permanent magnets—increased by a lower 11% in 2018, in part due to a slight drop in automobile production in 2018 over the year prior.

After years of flat growth since 2013, in 2018, Japan’s consumption of rare earth mischmetal increased by 10%, signaling a boost in demand for NiMH batteries used widely in hybrid electric vehicles (“HEVs”) and other wireless electronics and gadgets.

After growing at around 7% annually since 2013, Japan’s consumption of yttrium oxide increased 12% in 2018 on the back of strong demand for ceramics, such as yttrium-stabilized zirconia, which are increasingly being used for 5G electronic devices, such as mobile phone cases.

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