Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices

Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices | News | Lighting.

Rare earth shortages cause Havells to raise fluorescent prices

Havells-Sylvania has announced price increases to its fluorescent lamp and luminaire products. The company says the increases, which become effective immediately, are due to the limited availability and steep cost increases of phosphors.


Advances in the recycling of electrical waste could release rare earth metals locked in some products. (Picture courtesy of Lumicom)

As reported in Lighting, global shortages of rare earth elements (REEs), which have been exacerbated by the Chinese government reducing production and exports to protect its fast diminishing reserves, have increased costs in the lighting supply chain. Further price increase announcements are expected from other lamp manufacturers shortly.

Anuj Vasu, Havells-Sylvania’s senior strategic business unit manager for fluorescent products said: “The dramatic increase in the cost of this vital raw material has made it impossible for us to hold our prices at their current level. We aim to provide first class products without compromise on quality. Sharing the burden of the phosphor supply crisis allows us to continue to do that.”

China controls around 95 per cent of the world’s REE supply, so its strategic reduction in exports, coupled with a growing demand for REEs driven by the increased consumption of electronic consumer products and fast growing hybrid technologies, has put certain elements on the critical list. Havells said costs have increased ten-fold in just five months, driving production costs of fluorescent lamp and luminaire products steeply upward.

At present, there is no immediate alternative to Chinese sourced phosphors. Initiatives have been undertaken in countries such as the USA, India and Russia to expand mining and it is hoped developments in recycling will enable the industry to extract more of the elements from old equipment. Similarly, the large reserves of rare earth elements that were recently discovered by Japan under the Pacific Ocean floor are a long way from being extracted.

In a company statement Havells-Sylvania said: “We would like to reassure customers of our on-going support throughout this time. Price increases are rolled out giving as much lead time as possible, ensuring any impact to our clients’ business is minimised. We will continue to review the REE availability situation and adjust the price of fluorescent lamps and fixtures accordingly.”

You can read our report on rare earth shortages here and in the September issue of Lighting.