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Why CRMs have a Supply risk?


The risk of supply not being adequate to meet EU industry demand can come from several sources, including concentration of primary supply from countries exhibiting poor governance, distorted international markets and high dependency from import. Recycling and substitution can contribute to reduce the risk.

Geographic concentration of CRMs global supplier countries.
Geographic concentration of CRMs global supplier countries.

An analysis of global supply confirms that China is the largest supplier of several critical raw materials. Other countries are also important global suppliers of specific materials. For instance, Russia and South Africa are the largest global suppliers for platinum group metals, the USA for beryllium and Brazil for niobium.


 Largest suppliers of CRMs to the EU.
Largest suppliers of CRMs to the EU.

Despite China being the largest global supplier for the majority of the critical raw materials, the EU sourcing (i.e. domestic production plus imports) paints sometimes a different picture. The picture of EU sourcing lacks specific data for the five PGMs, titanium and beryllium. Although China is certainly a major EU supplier (44% of materials, in number, as shown in figure above), several other countries represent main shares of the EU supply for specific critical raw materials, such as Brazil (niobium), Chile (lithium) and Mexico (fluorspar).