Categories: News

soon a shortage of the material?

For more than a year, the shortage of semiconductors has completely changed the automotive market. But the industry could soon suffer from another crisis with a shortage of magnesium!

We have known it since 2020, the semiconductor crisis is sowing a wave of panic among many OEMs and car manufacturers. And with it, its share of problems. Factories very slowed down, even closed for weeks, the postponement of new products from manufacturers, sales figures which collapsed …

If the shortage is already causing extreme difficulties for all brands in the world, we dare not imagine if another problem were to mingle with the crisis. Unfortunately, this is probably what could happen with collapse of magnesium stocks in China. Explanations.

What is magnesium used for in car design?

At first glance, one might think that the magnesium is not used for cars. We are more used to hearing about iron, steel or aluminum for example. However, magnesium just enters in the composition of aluminum alloys, used in the manufacture of many vital organs of a car. We think in particular of the body, the transmission, the running gear and even the engine …

The manufacture of current cars therefore necessarily involves the use of these alloys.

A shortage from China

According to a newspaper article Financial Times, it would be close to 85% of world production of magnesium would be ensured by the China. If we even go into detail, almost almost all of the production even comes mainly from a single city, Yulin.

And since September, events have become more complicated. In an attempt to curb the shortages that are causing numerous power cuts, the Chinese authorities have taken measures intended to reduce power consumption. And among these decisions are the injunction to the foundries producing magnesium to suspend their activities, the latter being very energy consuming. Since magnesium cannot be stored for a long time because of its rapid oxidation, the shutdown of these foundries could lead importing countries to find themselves empty-handed in a relatively short period of time.

The country is in fact plagued by serious electricity supply problems, so much so that the Chinese government is forced to increase cuts and increase its coal extraction, intended to supply its thermal power stations.

Europe worries about possible supply disruption

For the moment, the United States would seem to be immune to a possible shortage, the Old continent is more exposed to the possible threat of a supply disruption.

ACEA, the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers, recently launched an urgent appeal to European authorities and warns against a “Imminent risk of production stoppages on a European scale” which would be the consequence of this possible shortage of magnesium supply from China.

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