Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Findings From the Recent IHS Rare Earth Minerals Report

Back in May of this year, China tightened the Rare Earth export quota due to a wane in demand (read our blog post covering this story here) which inevitably led to a price increase.

IHS have conducted a report looking at the opportunities and threats for Rare Earth Minerals, their findings show a positive forecast for growth, demand and pricing.

In the years leading up to 2009, China was the largest supplier of Rare Earth Minerals. In 2010 prices began to increase substantially and by the middle of 2011, they were up by 10 or 15 times the 2009 market price. This increase in price was due to the Chinese Government decreasing the export quotas and applying heavy tariffs. China also forced the closure of many small and illegal mining companies to help preserve the environment.

With Rare Earth Minerals being an essential component in many industries, we need to try and understand if another crisis like this will reoccur.

Looking forward to 2017, IHS forecast that the total world demand will increase from 110,000 to 160,000 metric tons. On the supply side, the current total world capacity for Rare Earth is estimated at 141,000 metric tons, with 70% of that installed in China.

However the situation looks positive, with Australia and the US starting up production in late 2011 and making up 21% of the worlds available mining capacity, IHS believe that by 2017 there could be 350,000 metric tons of available capacity. Which is an increase of 200,000 metric tons per year from 2012.

China is predicted to remain the major producer, but a large portion of its share could be reduced and transferred to other producing countries, those who previously had the capacity to produce, but gave up due to decreasing prices or environmental issues.

Along with these increases in demand and capacity, it is also believed that we will see a more stable price, with no expected pricing spikes as Rare Earths will become more available. With stable pricing comes an improved supply chain, with reduced risk, a reduction of tightness on supply and less reliance on China.

So overall the Rare Earth Minerals market is predicted to remain stable, with improvements being made and costs remaining steady over the next few years.

To watch IHS' free webinar discussing this report, please click here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Electronics Industry to Receive a €4.8 Billion Boost

The Electronics industry is set to get a €4.8 billion investment for research and innovation from the European Commission's Research and Development plans for 2014 – 2020. The funding will help boost components, system design and manufacturing capabilities.

The Commission announced a joint technology initiative for Europe's electronics sector,  Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL). The ECSEL will get an EU contribution of up to €1.2 billion which will be matched by contributions from Member States, industry partners will also be putting in around €2.4 billion.

This funding highlights the importance of the electronics industry itself and also the sectors it helps. Neelie Kroes the EU Vice President sates that “electronics supports and enables a huge value chain, reaching across the economy”. Cars, planes, trains, medical and health equipment, home appliances, energy networks and security systems, will all benefit from the funding. It will help improve European capabilities and capacity to design and manufacture state of the art electronic components and systems.

The initiative aims to tackle issues such as the EU's decline in global share of the electronic components and system area, maintaining Europe's leadership in areas such as embedded systems, semiconductor equipment and materials supply and to also try and increase energy efficiency and improve security.

EMS provider Daniel Josefsson, part of the Cyclops Group, have helped manufacture prototypes and bring them to market for industries such as; Aerospace and Defence, Fire and Safety, Medical and Automotive.

DJ are constantly developing their portfolio and knowledge, if you have any unusual requests please let get in touch. Call the team NOW on ++ 44 (0)1904 436456 or email web@djsonltd.com.

To read the article in full, click here.

Cyclops Group Raises Money for The Williams Syndrome Foundation

A huge well done from all at Cyclops to our customer Ian at ASD Lighting who completed a grueling 24km Peak District pursuit on Sunday in aid of The Williams Syndrome Foundation. Despite the hot conditions, Ian and the others managed to complete the walk/mountain climb in just 5 hours. Cyclops held a dress down day here in our York office to raise money for the foundation. A statement from Ian:

"From myself, Paul, Kath and The Williams Syndrome Foundation I want to say a massive thank you for your kind donations which helped me raise just over £1020. In total we have raised about £3700 with donations still coming in we are hoping to hit £4000. The money and the awareness this has raised is a massive help to everyone at the Foundation. Many thanks again." 

To sponsor Ian please visit his Just Giving site here:  

To find out more about the foundation, please visit their website.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Good News For The Electronics Industry as Semiconductor Inventory Falls in Q1

IHS have reported that good news could be on the horizon for the electronics industry, stating that the excess stockpiles that were created during 2012 (read our blog post covering this story here), have now been cleared.

This excess stock clear out was undertaken in anticipation of a resurgence in demand for electronic products which is expected by the second half of 2013.

According to IHS, semiconductor inventory declined to $37.6 billion in the first quarter, down by 4.6 percent from $38.4 billion in the forth quarter of 2012.

The graph below shows IHS' estimate of inventory held by semiconductor suppliers in terms of revenue.

The decline in inventory was paralleled by the drop of semiconductor revenues which fell 5.1 percent following the normal seasonal demand pattern.

Sharon Stiefel, analyst for semiconductor market intelligence for IHS states “While overall chip revenue declined in the first quarter, falling inventories among chip suppliers - combined with expanding stockpiles at distributors, contract manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) - indicate that consumer demand for electronics rose during the period”.

This being said, inventory levels are expected to rise again in the second quarter. This will be in response to the positive order rates from manufacturers, but consumer stockpiles are thought to remain relatively flat.

Follow this link to read the IHS article in full.