Raw Material Stocks: South Korea Lags Behind Plans

by | 25. Jul 2023 - 10:02 | Economy

In some cases, only a few days’ worth of material in stock; insufficient budget.

South Korea’s stocks of 35 critical raw materials are supposed to last 100 days, according to a government plan presented two years ago. In practice, the country apparently lags well behind its plans, according to The Dong-A Ilbo newspaper. On average, the industry could only fall back on reserves for 42 days, when its stocks had emptied. The situation is particularly critical for the battery metal lithium. The raw material, which is essential for the country’s e-car industry, would be used up after just under six days if imports came to a standstill. The newspaper believes that one reason for the current lack of strategic reserves is insufficient funding. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and the Ministry of Economy and Finance are currently discussing increasing the budget.

South Korea meets its critical mineral needs almost entirely through imports. With demand rising from the semiconductor industry, as well as electromobility and renewable energy, the country’s companies are scrambling to secure access to raw materials worldwide. They are supported in this by their government agency, the Korea Mine Rehabilitation & Mineral Resources Corp (KOMIR).

Photo: iStock/N-sky

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