The global germanium market size was worth around USD 292 million in 2022 and is predicted to grow to around USD 384 million by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 3.5% between 2023 and 2030.
The study examines the factors driving and restraining the worldwide germanium market, as well as their impact on demand during the forecast period. The research also looks at recent developments in the germanium market.
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The Germanium Industry in Context
Germanium (Ge) is a chemical element with atomic number 32 and a position in period 4 of the periodic table of elements. It is a semimetal that is hard, brittle, and silvery white, and it is a carbon group compound. It shares some of tin’s (stannum) and silicon’s (silicon) physical properties. There is a dispersed quantity of germanium in the earth’s crust, at 6.7 ppm. This substance can be found in nature as a sulphide or it can be found in mixes with the sulphides of other elements, most notably copper, zinc, lead, tin, and antimony. It is mostly used in the electronics industry despite the fact that it is a poor conductor of electricity due to its outstanding semiconductor characteristics. The expansion of the electronics industry, rising spending on renewable energy, and expanding infrastructure in the information technology sector are all drivers propelling the germanium market.
- Our research analyst projects that, between 2023 and 2030, the worldwide demand for germanium will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%.
- The worldwide demand for germanium was estimated at $292 million in 2022, with a further increase to $384 million by 2030.
- Over the forecast time frame, the germanium market is predicted to expand due to rising demand from the electronics and solar industries.
The expansion of the market is being fueled by rising demand in the electronics sector
The electronics sector is a key consumer of Germanium and is therefore expected to propel the global market. In electronics, germanium is used in diodes, transistors, and rectifiers to perform most of the functions of tubes and to perform other functions that tubes cannot. Germanium and transistors are more portable, compact, and affordable than their contemporaries, vacuum tubes. Since they don’t require heat or a hot filament, they consume significantly less power. They have progressed because of the much-touted technological revolution, in part because they have an infinite lifetime and are immune to stress. Growth in this sector is therefore anticipated to fuel the worldwide germanium market throughout the forecast period.
Market expansion is constrained by scarcity and reliance on byproducts
Minerals like germanite and argyrodite contain trace amounts of germanium, but the element is not found in abundance in the Earth’s crust. Therefore, germanium’s global availability is limited when compared to that of other metals. In addition, germanium is typically acquired as a waste product during the production of zinc. Germanium is recovered by zinc smelters from flue dust produced during the smelting process. Therefore, fluctuations in the demand for and price of zinc can affect the availability of germanium, which in turn affects the production of germanium. As a result, this is likely to be a significant challenge for the germanium market going forward.
The rising market for solar cells represents a major potential
One of the most important uses for the chemical compound germanium tetrafluoride is in the production of solar cells, which are extraordinarily efficient at converting sunlight into usable energy. A rise in solar cell demand is expected to drive the worldwide germanium market forward over the forecast period as a result of rising interest in renewable energy. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, the country aspires to install 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, with an estimated 280 GW coming from solar. In a similar vein, in May 2020 SolarPower Europe unveiled a new platform called Solar Manufacturing Accelerator to boost solar panel production across Europe. So, this should be a great chance for the market to expand within the predicted time frame.
Market expansion is hampered by strict rules
Due to its harmful effects on human health and the environment, the use of germanium tetrafluoride is carefully monitored by various regulatory authorities, which could slow the growth of the germanium market throughout the forecast time frame. This chemical molecule reacts with water to form a very acidic and toxic hydrofluoric acid. Excessive contact with germanium tetrafluoride might lead to respiratory distress and skin discomfort. Therefore, germanium tetrafluoride use is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with a maximum allowable exposure level of 2.5 mg/m3. Such stringent monitoring and limitations may slow market expansion during the forecast period due to the potentially harmful effects of germanium tetrafluoride.
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The Global Germanium Market is segmented based on product, application and region
Global Germanium Market: Product Segment Analysis
● High Purity GeO2
● Germanium Tetrachloride
● Germanium Ingot
Global Germanium Market: Application Segment Analysis
● Fiber Optics
● IR Optics
● Electronics and Solar
The global germanium market is dominated by players like:
● JSC Germanium
● China Germanium Co Ltd
● Umicore N.V.
● Yunnan Chihong Zinc & Germanium Co Ltd
● Shaoguan Smelting Plant
● Hangzhou Zhonghao Technology Co Ltd
● Yunnan Lincang Xinyuan Germanium Industry Co Ltd
● Yunnan Luoping Zinc & Electricity Co Ltd
● PPM Pure Metals GmbH
Foreseen market growth is largest in Asia and the Pacific
Over the forecast period, the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to be the largest contributor to the worldwide germanium market. The expansion of the electronics and solar industries are largely responsible for the area’s progress. Countries like India and China are major contributors to the region’s economic expansion. For instance, in the fiscal year 2022, the electronics sector in India produced goods worth about 6.4 trillion Indian rupees, as estimated by secondary research. One of the most rapidly expanding sectors in India is the manufacturing of mobile phones. Favourable government policies and regulatory backing for the sector, along with expanding local and worldwide demand, have put India on track to become a manufacturing powerhouse for electronics in the future.
In addition, more than USD 50 billion has been invested in new PV supply capacity in China since 2011, which is ten times more than Europe, and more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been created along the solar PV value chain, as reported by the International Energy Administration. More than 80% of the world’s solar panels are produced from polysilicon ingots, wafers, cells, and modules. This is significantly larger than China’s share of the global PV market. This country is also home to nine of the world’s top ten suppliers of solar PV manufacturing equipment. China’s role in driving down the price of solar photovoltaic panels has created a number of opportunities for the green energy movement. As a result, this is anticipated to be a primary factor in the region’s expanding market.
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