New international groups dealing in raw materials have emerged (photo:dpa)

Germany pays the price of losing direct access to critical raw materials

ACCESS to industrial raw materials, particularly rare earth elements (REEs) is proving increasingly difficult for German companies.

Some, like chemical giant BASF, have been able to meet the dramatic rise in price of 80 per cent between 2008 and 2011 and have maintained imports of critical raw materials (CRMs). But many of Germany's small and mid-size companies have been unable to compete with state-owned companies from emerging powers like China.

A large proportion of the US$111.7 billion (84 billion euros) paid for imports of natural resources by Germany in 2009 went on energy resources. Just...

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Dr. Frank Umbach
Germany has only few companies left which are financially capable of obtaining concessions abroad and undertaking targeted exploration
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