Osmium is a transition metal and together with platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, and ruthenium, forms the platinum group metals (PGMs). It is the rarest element in the earth's crust and has a tiny volume of demand in spite of the various osmium compounds having excellent catalytic properties.
Key industries of demand:
- Electricals and Electronics
- Chemical Manufacturing
The osmium market is difficult to assess due to poor global statistics, low demand and difficult extraction. However, according to new research, the metal has promising potential due to its possible applications in anticancer treatments, as well as in the jewelry industry. The use of the unique properties of osmium in microscope slides, in medical implants, in the mirrors of UV spectrometers in space, and for stabilizing biological membranes in tissue samples make this metal popular and promising.
Osmium World-Council evaluates the annual osmium production since 2019 at 1000 kg. A significant amount is used for crystallization, the remaining amount in the form of osmium compounds is used internationally in industry and academic research. Nowadays, production is steadily increasing as more and more contracted mines are separating the osmium.
In 2019, world imports of "iridium, osmium & ruthenium, unwrought/in powder form" exceeded $812 million according to statistics provided by Trend Economy. South Africa, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and USA are the main exporters of Iridium, osmium & ruthenium (95%). Key importers are Japan, USA, Hong Kong, China, United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium (93%).
The growth of the global osmium market is limited by the rarity and high cost of the metal. According to Engelhard Industrial Bullion, in 2018, which is the most recent price, the price per ounce of osmium in the U.S. was approximately $ 400. According to Osmium-Preis, since April 2017 the osmium price (Osmium, kristallin, 1 gr) has increased from €797 per gram to the current level €1.484,96 per gram or €42.098,62 per ounce on the spot market. Osmium-187 is one of the most stable and expensive isotopes that costs between $150000 to $250000 per kilogram. Osmium-187 is measured in an Osmium-187/Osmium-188 ratio that has been used extensively in dating terrestrial as well as meteoric rocks,to measure the intensity of continental weathering over geologic time, and to fix minimum ages for stabilization of the mantle roots of continental cratons. The osmium price is not characterized by volatility and has a fundamental stable growth due to the rarity of the metal. It should be noted that the osmium price was not influenced by Covid pandemic and the metal can be considered as an investment instrument with low risk level.
Crystalline Osmium Price Chart:
The demand for osmium is likely to increase in the next five years and is mainly driven by sustainable development in the global chemical industry. Therefore the CAGR over the next few years is likely to see a substantial increase. North America should be the dominant force when it comes to consumption, followed by Europe in second place.
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