United Electric Supply
Rare Earth Oxides are mined from the earth and processed into useable components found in many modern consumer products. To us, they are a critical component in the production of the ‘white’ phosphor coatings used to create various color in linear and compact fluorescent lamps, as well as LED’s.
China controls nearly 95% of the world’s rare earth mineral needs. During the past months, rare earth mineral markets have experienced unprecedented growth. Additionally, Chinese export duties encourage their own domestic production and use of these minerals. The end result is a tightening of supply and soaring prices. Since February, phosphor oxides along with other rare earth metal prices have skyrocketed over 800%.
To compound the problem, the lighting industry only consumes approximately 10% of the Chinese export of these oxides, putting our industry at an extreme disadvantage.
Our lamp manufacturers have assured us that they are working diligently to manage and control costs. However, hundreds of fluorescent lamps have already been affected by dramatic cost increases in various degrees according to individual lamp characteristics. We are beginning to experience extended lead times and shortages associated with this sudden rise in prices, and some industry experts estimate this to continue through 2012.
United Electric Supply is working with our strategic suppliers to address this rapidly accelerating availability and pricing crisis by increasing and/or controlling our inventories and managing our costs. We have just updated our pricing, which includes the two most recent increases. From this point on, we will all be subject to increases as they develop.
We will keep our staff informed of new information, and make them aware of alternatives. As true partners, we ask you to help by assessing and planning your lamp purchases and deliveries for what has become a substantial challenge for all of us.
It is extremely important that you please carefully note all of the terms and conditions of our Lighting quotations, as there may be very specific requirements and restrictions throughout this difficult period.
This is an unprecedented global crisis in the lighting Industry, and United Electric Supply is determined to support you in every way we can toward our mutual success.