Today, industriAll European Trade Union releases a joint statement with various European industrial associations representing both metals producers and users, warning EU policy makers that urgent action is required in light of the current Chinese magnesium shortage. The raw material is vital to thousands of businesses across Europe, and their supply chains, which relates to millions of jobs.

The Chinese Government’s decision to halt, or drastically reduce, their magnesium production since September 2021 in order to curb their power consumption, has resulted in an international magnesium shortage to a level never seen before. Unfortunately, the EU is almost fully reliant on magnesium imports from China (95%) which means that European industry, including the automotive, construction and packaging sectors are facing running out of this critical raw material by the end of November 2021.

Magnesium prices have exploded due to the critical shortage with an increase from US$2,000/mton earlier this year to US$10,000 to 14,000$/mton today. The extortionate prices plus the possibility to run out of magnesium in a month’s time are extremely concerning for industrial workers in the metal using and procuring sectors which now face the threat of production stoppages which will impact a huge number of jobs.

Judith Kirton‐Darling, Deputy General Secretary of industriAll Europe:

‘’We need urgent EU action to ensure an adequate supply of magnesium at reasonable prices to keep production lines and supply chains operating, and workers in their jobs. The current magnesium price explosion and critical shortage should be a wakeup call for Europe. We need to find an immediate short term solution to keep operations running, but we also need to establish a long-term solution to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials in Europe which meets strong environmental and social standards.’’

Joint statement: EN
Contact: Elspeth Hathaway (policy adviser)