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Rare earth permanent magnetic materials are divided into SmCo permanent magnet and NdFeB permanent magnet. NdFeB, the third-generation raw earth permanent magnetic material, has the strongest magnetic property and finds the widest application, holding over 90% market share.
Global NdFeB permanent magnet market has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years with the output for 2017 exceeding 170kt, a 78.5% upsurge over 2010, including more than 60kt of high-performance NdFeB, soaring 135.1% from 2010, well above the average growth rate of the industry. Globally, only TDK, Hitachi Metals, Shin-Etsu Chemical and VAC are capable of producing high-performance NdFeB permanent magnet, seizing almost 50% of the world market.
China has been the world's largest producer of rare earth permanent magnet by virtue of its rare earth resource superiority. More than 150kt of NdFeB permanent magnet or about 90% of the global total was produced in China in 2017. Despite the country's massive production capacity, most of Chinese NdFeB enterprises still focus on mid and low-end products and have not yet been strong in high-end products.
For that reason, the country has issued favorable policies such as the Guidance for the Development of New Materials Industry to facilitate the development of high-performance NdFeB. Meanwhile, emerging fields like new energy vehicle, robot and energy-saving household appliances also give an impetus to high-performance NdFeB. It is expected the country's demand for high-performance NdFeB will rise by more than 15% during 2018-2021.