Today’s price of Germanium is $2,811.00 per kg.
Please note that the price presented is the retail price for private investors and is aligned with industry retail pricing. For bulk purchases, whether industry or investment, please contact us directly for a quotation.
Table: Germanium Historical Prices and Price Changes
|Date||Price||Change % to Today||Annual Change %|
|Sep 27 2023||$2,811.00 / kg|
|Jan 1 2023||$2,344.40 / kg||+19.90%|
|Jan 1 2022||$2,293.80 / kg||+22.55%||+2.21%|
|Jan 1 2021||$1,984.20 / kg||+41.67%||+15.60%|
|Jan 1 2020||$2,045.09 / kg||+37.45%||-2.98%|
|Jan 1 2019||$2,361.61 / kg||+19.03%||-13.40%|
|Jan 1 2018||$1,845.17 / kg||+52.34%||+27.99%|
Germanium Historical Price Movement
When the cost of germanium today, $2,811.00 per kg, is compared to its price on January 1st 2023, $2,344.40 per kg, the change is +19.90%. The increase since January 2020 ($2,045.09 / kg) is currently +37.45%. If we go back to January 1st 2018 when the price was even lower at $1,845.17 per kg than what they are now, then you can see how prices have gone up by +52.34%.
Germanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ge and atomic number 32. It is a grayish-white metalloid with a lustrous appearance and is hard and brittle.
To better understand how much we can expect to spend on germanium in the future, it helps to understand the uses of this rare metal and who produces it (click here to jump to the germanium forecast).
A relatively rare element, germanium is a metal that has been used in a variety of applications throughout history.
In its purest form, germanium is used as a semiconductor in transistors and other electronic devices. Nowadays, just about every industry uses computers. And that increasingly means that nearly everything needs semiconductor chips and not just things we regard as electronic. Germanium is also alloyed with other metals to create strong, lightweight alloys that are used in aircraft construction.
In addition, germanium oxide is used as an infrared optical material and as a catalyst in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Germanium isotopes are also used in nuclear medicine, and germanium-68 is particularly useful in PET scans.
For a long time germanium’s use has been essential in electronics such as in-phase memory chips, semiconductor & solar applications, infrared optics & detectors, camera & microscope lenses, glass in satellite systems & fire alarms, electric guitar amplifiers, LED production, various medical applications, and fibre optics to form the glass core of fibre optic cables.
With its wide range of applications, germanium plays an important role in today’s industry and technology.
Where is Germanium Produced?
Germanium is produced as a by-product of base metal refining, mostly from sphalerite zinc ores, fly ash coal (produced from coal power plants), and some copper ores. It isn’t mined as a primary material.
China is the world’s largest producer of germanium, responsible for around 60% of total production (estimated to be 60% from zinc ores and 40% from coal fly ash). The remaining germanium output comes from Canada, Finland, Russia, and the United States.
What Determines the Price of Germanium?
The demand for the final products that use germanium determines the need for this unique metal. As noted, germanium plays a crucial role in today’s technology, especially fibre optics. So, for example, increased demand for high-speed internet worldwide would increase demand for germanium.
Although not extremely rare, germanium is ten times more expensive than silver because of the expense of getting it to 99.999% purity, the most commercially available grade. So the supply of germanium is constrained by the costly production process. As China dominates the production of germanium (60%), export quotas and geopolitical events also impact the germanium supply.
Now that we understand the factors that impact the demand and supply, we can better estimate where germanium prices are heading.
Germanium Price Forecast
Germanium is a critical component in several growth industries, and it is widely predicted that demand will be 6 to 9 times higher than supply by 2030!
Consider that germanium is used in the production of infrared permeability optics. Therefore, it is indispensable for producing night vision devices and thermal imaging cameras. This is a huge growth market. Luxury cars already use this technology, but this market is about to explode as this technology finds its way to all vehicles in the coming years. Consider self-driving, blind spots, and security automation.
Recyclable PET bottles, high-performance processors, detectors for X-rays, photovoltaics, and … semiconductors also use this extraordinary metal. Cold War 2.0 will be a semiconductor race, not an arms race, writes John Naughton of the Guardian (UK). The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) makes 92% of the highest-grade semiconductors in the world, which explains why China and the US could be willing to go to war over Taiwan. TSMC is about a decade ahead of the rest of the world in high-grade semiconductor chips.
What’s interesting is Taiwan has the technology; however, currently, China is the world’s largest producer of Germanium. And recently (July 4th 2023), the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced stricter controls on the export of Germanium and Gallium. Starting August 1st, permission will be required to export these technology metals. Industry observers see the new regulation as a reaction to US efforts to cut China off from the supply of next-generation semiconductor chips.
The Middle Kingdom inhabits a dominant position in the raw materials sector. Nevertheless, it has not yet been able to catch up technically with the chip industry of Taiwan or South Korea.
With the political landscape becoming an ever-increasing factor in raw material markets and issues such as alternative energies, trade wars, and subsidies significantly impacting market dynamics and prices, the forecast is challenging to predict accurately. However, what remains true, particularly in this opaque market, is that it is purely supply and demand driven. Nobody would argue that demand is increasing, and supply is limited and disrupted after China’s latest export controls, equating to the potential for profit.
Investors should note that supply bottlenecks are predicted due to the new high-tech developments mentioned here. The Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research expects a significant increase in demand in all these industries. In the field of fibre optics alone, demand is expected to increase eightfold, leading to substantial price increases.
The list of 35 critical minerals (83 FR 23295) published in May 2018 by the US Department of the Interior to ensure secure and reliable supplies includes germanium. With China being the dominant producer and supplier of germanium, Europe and the US now wait in line for what China will export after China satisfies its domestic quotas. We already see shortages, and this is only set to continue.
Hence the price forecast for germanium looks positive for the short, medium (3 to 5 years) and long term (10 years).
How to Sell Germanium
The only end buyers for industrial-grade germanium (min. 99.999% purity) are industry buyers such as Ford, BMW, and Amcor Limited. These buyers will only purchase from reputable industry suppliers with the credentials to provide the complete chain of custody.
No commercial buyer will entertain a seller without the complete chain of custody, purity levels, analysis reports, and proper storage facilities. As an industry supplier, we can guarantee the safe and fast liquidation of the strategic metals of our investors.
How to Buy Germanium
Industry-grade germanium is sold at minimum 99.999% purity, priced in USD, and the weight unit is per kilogram. Hobbyists looking to buy small amounts of germanium can do so online at sites like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. However, there’s no guarantee of the purity and no possibility of liquidating to anyone other than hobbyists.
Corporate buyers such as IBM, General Motors, Mercedes, and Mouser Electronics only use reputable metal dealers to purchase industry-grade germanium. Reputable metals dealers act as the intermediaries between the high-tech industries and the producers of the vital raw materials for these industries.
Any serious investors who want to benefit from future germanium price raises by buying and owning this unique metal can do this through us. When you purchase with us, you buy from the only globally licensed industry supplier offering this option to private investors.
On the industrial side, suppliers with longevity and a stellar reputation like ourselves, have certain competitive advantages too, such as immediate availability of raw materials and “fair” prices.
It is also possible to trade germanium futures on the Shanghai Metal Market (SMM).
All prices on this page last updated Sep 27 2023.