China (mainland) – The world's supply of sintered NdFeB magnets will hold steady this year, sustained by the estimated 25 percent increase in mainland China's production in 2007. Some 39,300 tons of sintered NdFeB magnets were produced on the mainland in 2006--increasing 30 percent from 2005 and accounting for 78.6 percent of the global aggregate, according to the China Electronic Components Association.
Mainland China is forecast to remain one of the world's fastest growing exporters of sintered NdFeB magnets this year. As of 2006, the NdFeB magnet industry on the mainland has been exporting about 28 percent of its total production, valued at more than $300 million. This year's export figures are expected to remain at current levels, if not slightly increase.
The United States, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are the top export destinations for sintered NdFeB magnets made in mainland China. Magnet suppliers expect their shipments to increase as they step up expansion plans this year. Suppliers say they will continue to allot a large share of their monthly output for the local market, including Hong Kong.
Sustained production growth is attributed to breakthroughs in production technology, including the use of airflow grinders instead of the wet granulation system. However, most manufacturers still use locally made rapid quenching and hydrogen decrepitation equipment.
With the enhanced manufacturing processes and production technology, about two-thirds of all NdFeB magnet suppliers on the mainland are now able to produce midrange products. In recent years, manufacturers can only produce low-end products. Now, midrange sintered NdFeB magnets with 38MGOe to 45MGOe BHmax are mainstream. These types of magnets are designed for motors used mostly in electronic bicycles, acoustic components and toys.
Advances in locally available technology have allowed mainland China's NdFeB magnet manufacturers to further enhance product quality. Leading suppliers, including Zhejiang Innuovo, are now able to improve the output of their high-end products. The company founded the Zhejiang University-Innuovo new material R&D center, contributing to the development of the local industry. Zhejiang Innuovo produces N52, N45SH and N35EH high-performance NdFeB magnets. It also makes N50, N48M, N42SH, N35EH and N45H high-BHmax NdFeB magnets. Its products feature operating temperature of 150 degrees Celsius.
Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.