Chinese Indium Strategies: Â Threats and Opportunities for Displays, Photovoltaics and Electronics

Date: March 8, 2011
Pages: 92
US$ 995.00
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Publisher: NanoMarkets LC
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: C841101186CEN

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Chinese Indium Strategies: Â Threats and Opportunities for Displays, Photovoltaics and Electronics
China accounts for almost three-quarters of world Indium reserves and about half its Indium production; it therefore has enormous market power. And China is willing to use it. Although less reported than China’s activity to restrict the export of rare earths, the Chinese government has recently cut export quotas on indium. And it seems certain that from here on out, China will treat its Indium supply as a key strategic asset to be manipulated for the nation’s geopolitical gain.

This situation is already beginning to worry Japanese display makers and in many ways it couldn’t have come at a worse time for users of all kinds and nationalities. The indium tin oxide (ITO) component in display bills-of-materials is already a cost burden and just at a time when, flat panel display prices are falling rapidly. Also, while manufacturers of CIS/CIGS solar panels are hoping that 2011 will be the year that the many theoretical advantages of CIS/CIGS will be recognized by the PV marketplace, they may be burdened by higher prices for Indium, a core material. Much the same situation can be found in the networking business where Indium Phosphide electronics is rapidly attracting attention as the way forward for high-speed chips.

In this report, NanoMarkets analyzes China’s current Indium strategies and projects what its next moves might be. In doing this we provide more certainty to a market that is riddled with political risk and has of late seen public squabbles between Chinese suppliers and users all over the world about prices should be for Indium.

But the main goal of this report is to show how we expect the user community to adjust to Chinese indium strategies and what opportunities that will create. Will Korean and other Indium suppliers rush to fill a surge in demand for Indium? Will end users grumble, but then go right on using higher priced Chinese indium? Or will Chinese maneuvers boost markets for non-Indium alternatives; non-ITO transparent conductors, CdTe PV and GaAs chips, for example.

Activities in the Chinese Indium industry have the potential to have a ripple effect through display, PV and electronics businesses everywhere. In this report we discuss how the likely scenarios will play out and how the future development of the Chinese Indium industry will impact the worldwide electronics and PV industries. In addition to the overall market analysis, we also examine the current strategies of some of the leading Chinese Indium suppliers as well as how the Chinese government and financial industry is likely to support China’s Indium suppliers (of which there are about 100) in the coming years.

We have used both English- and Chinese- language sources to compile the report, and our findings will be of importance to business development and marketing executives in the display, PV and semiconductors industries as well as investors. NanoMarkets brings to this study its many years of following the transparent conductor, display and photovoltaics markets at both the applications and materials level. NanoMarkets’ analysts have also had considerable experience with understanding the InP chip business. Where appropriate, this report cites NanoMarkets’ extensive estimates and forecasts of the markets impacted by Chinese indium supplies.

E.1 Plausible futures for Chinese Indium
E.2 Opportunities and likely responses from other supplier nations
E.3 Opportunities for non-conventional transparent conductors
E.4 Opportunities for the PV industry
E.5 Opportunities in the compound semiconductor industry


1.1 Background to report
1.2 Objective and scope of report
1.3 Methodology and information sources for report
1.4 Plan of report


2.1 The politics of Chinese indium
  2.1.1 Recent developments
  2.1.2 Future scenarios
2.2 Quotas and pricing
  2.2.1 Trends in quotas and pricing
  2.2.2 Recent controversies
2.3 Strategies of leading Chinese Indium firms
2.4 Responses from other supplier nations


3.1 How will non-Chinese indium suppliers respond?
3.2 Display and lighting industry
  3.1.1 The ITO cost problem: exploding BOM
  3.1.2 Costly Chinese indium: good news or great news for the ITO alternative suppliers
3.2 CIGS industry
  3.2.1 Will China kill CIGS?
  3.2.2 Who wins if CIGS loses?
3.3 Semiconductor chips
  3.3.1 Does InP electronics hurt if the price of Indium goes up?
  3.3.2 Is there an opportunity for GaAs here?
3.4 A summing up

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