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商业 - 能源

钽金属价格或将上涨

Omar Akhtar 2012年10月11日

钽的售价高昂,广泛用于智能手机、笔记本电脑和音响设备中。只有少数几个国家拥有钽矿资源。钽的供应很不稳定,但是需求量却一直在上升。因此,它的价格还会进一步上涨。

    钽是一种需求量很大的稀有元素。谁掌握了钽,谁就掌控了21世纪供应链的关键一环:目前开采出来的钽有一半被用于制造存储电荷的电容器件。钽价格高昂,每镑(约合453克)售价高达130美元;相比之下,更为罕见的稀有元素钨,每磅仅28美元。关于钽,不可不知的信息包括以下几点。

    钽是什么

    钽是化学元素周期表上的一种金属,它没有电抗性,也不会被腐蚀,很适合用于制造外科手术设备、埋植剂以及飞机发动机。极少量的钽就能存储大量的电荷。“钽很难被替代,”全球最大的钽金属供应商Global Advanced Metals 公司首席执行官布赖恩•埃利斯说。

    钽的开采地在哪儿

    咨询机构Merchant Research & Consulting称,钽的主要开采地包括巴西(26%)、澳大利亚(12%)以及莫桑比克(17%)等国家。去年,在刚果民主共和国,反政府军控制了几个钽矿,这个政治冲突导致全球钽供应量下降了10%。

    钽的价格为什么这么高昂

    钽的供应不稳定,而需求一直在增长。此外,据调研公司Tin & Tantalum Supply Chain Initiative的凯•尼莫称,美国的多德-弗兰克法案要求供应商记录金属的产地,将导致其最终成本上升多达2%。

    谁将从中受益

    电容器供应商AVX与KEMET。这两家公司都向英特尔(Intel)和摩托罗拉(Motorola)供货。由于生产成本原因,Global Advanced Metals最近关闭了位于澳大利亚Wodgina的大型钽矿,这将导致(钽)的价格上涨。

    译者:项航

    Tantalum is a rare element in high demand. To control tantalum is to control a key part of the 21st-century supply chain: Half of all tantalum mined goes into electronic capacitors, which store an electric charge. And it is expensive -- $130 per pound, vs. its rarer cousin, tungsten, at $28. Here's what you need to know.

    What it is

    A metal on the periodic table, tantalum is nonreactive and won't corrode, making it good for surgical equipment, implants, and aircraft engines. A little bit of tantalum holds a lot of electrical charge. "It is not easily substitutable," says Bryan Ellis, CEO of Global Advanced Metals, the biggest supplier of tantalum.

    Where it's mined

    Brazil (26%), Australia (12%), and Mozambique (17%), according to Merchant Research & Consulting. Last year rebels took control of several tantalum mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the government response cut 10% of the global supply.

    Why it's expensive

    Supply is erratic; demand is only increasing. Plus, Dodd-Frank legislation requires suppliers to document where their metals come from, adding as much as 2% to the final cost, says Kay Nimmo of the Tin & Tantalum Supply Chain Initiative.

    Who it's benefiting

    Capacitor suppliers AVX (AVX) and KEMET (KEM). Both companies sell to Intel (INTC) and Motorola. Global Advanced Metals recently shut down its massive Wodgina mine in Australia owing to production costs, which will cause a price increase.

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