Germanium Prices – Historical Graph

Real-time chart of historical daily germanium prices. The prices are shown in kilogram.
The current price is and is last updated on .
  • The average price in the past 3 days is
  • The average price in the past 7 days is
  • The average price in the past 30 days is
  • The average price in the past 365 days is

Germanium Prices Explained

Germanium is an insufficient element as it is typically obtained as a byproduct during the mining and refining of primary metals like zinc and copper.

Consequently, its availability is closely tied to the manufacturing levels of these primary metals and the Chinese export policy as this commodity largely comes from this country. Thus, its production dependence and China’s international trading rules play a significant role in germanium price fluctuations.

Why are germanium prices fluctuating?

1. Mining and Production Costs

The price of germanium can be influenced by the expenses associated with its mining and production. It’s primarily obtained from the smelting of zinc ores, coal, and other minerals. Additionally, its production is limited by the availability of these ores and the cost of extraction.

Thus, germanium prices escalate due to factors such as higher energy prices, increased labor expenses, or regulatory alterations.

2. Supply and Demand

If demand increases and the supply cannot match this surge, the scarcity drives up germanium prices. Conversely, if demand decreases or if there is an oversupply, prices may fall as producers compete to sell the excess germanium.

Overall, the balance between supply and demand determines the market equilibrium and the corresponding price of germanium.

3. Currency Exchange

The cost of production for germanium comes after exchange rates, especially if production involves purchasing raw materials, energy, or equipment denominated in a foreign currency. Thus, fluctuations in exchange rates mirror the overall production expenses and selling price of germanium.

4. Substitute Materials

If alternative materials or technologies that can substitute for germanium become more prevalent or cost-effective, the demand for germanium may decrease, affecting its price. Furthermore, technological advancements influence germanium prices by affecting demand through the creation of new applications that improve efficiency, performance, and cost-effectiveness.

Which variables impact the price of germanium?

  • Supply and Demand
  • Production Costs
  • Currency Exchange
  • Geopolitical Factors
  • Technological Advancement
  • Environment Regulation
  • Economic Condition
  • Substitute Materials

Where does germanium come from?

Germanium is a carbon group compound. It is a hard, brittle, silvery-white semimetal. Furthermore, its physical characteristics are comparable to those of tin and silicon.

Once extracted from these sources, germanium is typically further processed and purified through various chemical and metallurgical processes to obtain a high-purity form suitable for its various industrial and technological applications.

The largest producers of germanium are those countries with significant zinc smelting and refining operations, such as China, Russia, Canada, and Belgium. Here are the main sources of germanium:

1. Zinc Ore – Germanium is often found as a trace element within zinc ores such as sphalerite. During the zinc smelting process, germanium is extracted as a byproduct.

2. Coal and Coal Ashes – Certain types of coal and coal ashes contain trace amounts of germanium. During the burning of coal, germanium is released into the ash. Subsequently, this ash can undergo further processing to extract germanium.

3. Copper Ore – Germanium is also present in copper ores, although in lesser quantities compared to zinc ores. The process of mining and refining copper can produce germanium as a byproduct.

4. Silver and Lead Ore – Certain silver and lead ores may contain minimal quantities of germanium and they can be extracted during the refining process of these ores.

5. Recycling – Germanium can also be recovered from various electronic waste (e-waste) and recycled materials, including discarded electronic devices like semiconductors, optical fibers, and other components that contain germanium.

What are the uses of germanium?

Germanium has unique properties that make it useful in a wide range of industries. These are some of the uses of Germanium:

1. Semiconductor Industry – Germanium is a key material in the production of semiconductors and transistors, especially in the early days of electronics. It is used in electronic components and integrated circuits.

2. Fiber Optics – Germanium is used as a dopant in fiber optic cables to improve their infrared transmission capabilities, making them efficient for telecommunications and data transmission.

3. Infrared Optics – Its lenses and windows are used in infrared optical equipment, thermal imaging systems, and night vision devices due to its high refractive index in the infrared region.

4. Phosphorus – Its oxides are used in phosphorus for fluorescent lamps and television tubes, producing visible light when excited by ultraviolet radiation.

5. Electroplating – Germanium is used in electroplating processes to provide corrosion resistance and improve the surface properties of materials.

6. Medical Imaging – Germanium detectors are used in positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, a medical imaging technique used for detecting diseases and disorders.

What is the future price of germanium?

The worldwide germanium market is anticipated to be driven by the electronics industry, which is a significant user of germanium. Additionally, the continuous evolution of technological invention makes this metal even more marketable as it’s an important material in making microchips. 

As a result, China implemented an export restriction on its technology metals (gallium and germanium) on the grounds of national security. In light of this, Deloitte forecasted the commodity’s supply bottlenecks due to limited global availability and the growing demand for germanium. 

Thus, the future price of germanium in 2030 ranges between $400 and $600 per metric ton. It will reach about USD 384 million by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 3.5%.


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