Trade Finance TV: why are rare earth metals pivotal to global trade?

Rare earth metals (REMs) are essential raw inputs used to manufacture more than 200 different commercial products, as well as everyday consumer goods such as mobile phones, cameras, computer drives, floodlights and microwave filters.

The global supply chain for these rare earth metals is fragile and vulnerable to geopolitics.  Our guests on Trade Finance TV take a closer look at geopolitical choke points, supply risks, and what is being done to manage this by governments, producers and financiers.

These metals play a key role in the clean energy transition but does extraction exacerbate global warming? It does not need to.  As the EU’s Peter Handley puts it, “Today’s fossil fuel economy is about digging stuff up and burning it and what you have got left is CO2 emissions that contribute to global warming. Compare that with extracting and processing metals which go into products – you get the use of the product but then you can recover the metals and minerals and you don’t have to assume that mining and processing are done in a dirty way.”

Tune into this insightful show to hear more from Peter and also from our two economists, Dr Rebecca Harding and Dr Marion Laboure

This particular episode, being recorded in the morning for all participants saw the introduction of our Trade Finance TV coffee mugs and included a plate of French macaroons in honour of our French guest Marion Laboure, and also that it happened to be the Presenter’s birthday…


Dr Marion Laboure, Director and Strategist, Deutsche Bank Research

Dr Rebecca Harding, Independent Trade Economist

Peter Handley, ‘Energy Intensive Industries, Raw Materials, Hydrogen (video link)

Note that Marion Laboure references the Deutsche Bank Research Chartbook: Rare Earth Metals 101 (published 27 March 2023, available to subscribers)  


Clarissa Dann, Editorial Director, Deutsche Bank

Published on May 30, 2023

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