Copper, lithium and aluminum prices go up and electronics could get even more expensive

Several other rare metals suffered from the increase.

The semiconductor industry relies heavily on natural resources such as rare metals (copper, lithium, tin, among others) which are used in the manufacture of the most diverse components. A study by Nikkei Asia revealed that we are at an important inflation point, mainly due to last year’s increases.

Those responsible for the overvaluation of these natural resources are already well known. The study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic, low supply, high demand and political tensions between the US and China are the main causes.

O lithium dioxide, for example, had a 150% increase year on year on account of the rise in popularity of electric cars. One of the most common conductors, copper, had an increase of 37%, already the aluminum, a component commonly used in cases because it is light, is 55% more expensive. O tin was one of those that suffered the most increase, reaching 82%.

No rare metal got out of the crisis. Neodymium, found in audio components of electronics, e praseodymium, used in airplanes as an alloying agent for magnesium, had an increase in the 74%. The study also points out that several other metals have also become more expensive.

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Manufacturers have already felt the increase in these natural resources and, without a shadow of a doubt, the end consumer is already paying for this increase, when he manages to pay. Demand never stops growing. More and more volumes of data are transferred, so an increasing demand exists on the part of data centers; electric cars getting more popular (at least out there); between various demands they squeeze the low supply, raising prices at all levels of this chain.

In this whole situation, China is a great “player”. she can stop from mining and refining these rare materials, to manufacturing the components. The country was responsible for about 55% of all global rare metal mining and 85% of these metals pass through China because of manufacturing that is highly concentrated there.

Industry, Science and Technology International Strategy Center (ISTI) researcher Angela Chang told Nikkei Asia that China has the advantage of producing and refining rare metals on a global scale, as well as having control of other metals needed for military equipment. and aerospace. “The Chinese advantage has become a key bargain in the negotiations between Beijing and Washington,” said the researcher.


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Via: Tom’s Hardware

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