It is not surprising, but it has arrived at the worst possible time, and certainly, the prices of all electrical components will rise, logically including all existing PC hardware. The issue isn’t only scarcity, as you might expect, but a strategic conflict that has already claimed its first victim: prices. What is the status of this issue?
For more than three months, developments in the world of hardware and electronics in general have demonstrated that this is a geopolitical, geographical, and material concern for control, supply, and treatment of everything related to semiconductors. The final and most specific example is the control, treatment, and distribution of so-called “rare earths,” for which everything has exploded and the war is at its peak.
The scarcity crisis is far from over, China and the United States worsen it!
The news today can be summed up in a single sentence: the price of the metals that comprise rare earths has risen and is now peaking. The context of all of this is far bigger than the fact that as a result of this, all hardware components will increase in price, mostly because corporations will be unable to absorb the impact of the rise and transportation, which will have ramifications. resulting in a greater cost for the customer and, as a result, likely low sales for the manufacturers.
This goes much further, because the price of rare earths has skyrocketed (there are minerals at +150 percent, such as lithium) in the last year, and reports indicate that the escalation will be even greater in the coming months, just as Intel and AMD are set to unveil their new processors and, in part, platforms. The explanation for this is clearly the trade conflict between China and the United States over these minerals, in which the Asian country controls 58 percent of global production and an astonishing 85 percent of refining.
The US moves token and attempts to wean itself off of China’s reliance on rare earths!
The Biden administration has given orders and economic aid to its country’s mining firms to enhance the capacity of these rare earths, but China has a big ownership in the largest mining company in the United States: MP Minerals, in a very smart maneuver that occurred years ago.
Currently, the US capacity is approximately 50,000 tons per year, which is dependent on refining in China to be used as minerals in the industry. That is, China currently holds the upper hand in a situation where, around 20 years ago, no one could have predicted the actions of Asians today.
Trump was very clear about it with China, and Biden appears to be waking up to the reality of the war, which is why it is rumored that the withdrawal from Afghanistan corresponds to a centralization of economic resources in order to win the war for semiconductors, since the country was never going to be won with weapons and was only used to generate money and launder dollars.
Meanwhile, both countries are gambling with hardware, because as prices rise, businesses will sell less, importing fewer rare earths, and we will all suffer. Not who wins the most, but who loses the least is the question. What is certain is that this will not be the final confrontation between these two superpowers, despite the fact that the European Union “neither punctures nor cuts,” as they say. Gather your funds, as even Black Friday will not cover the cost of the hardware displayed.