Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of the U.S. manufacturing sector

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Journal Article

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Science Advances




Nedal T. Nassar
Jamie Brainard
Andrew Gulley
Ross Manley
Grecia Matos
Graham Lederer
Laurence R. Bird
David Pineault
Elisa Alonso
Joseph Gambogi
Steven M. Fortier

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Trade tensions, resource nationalism, and various other factors are increasing concerns regarding the supply reliability of nonfuel mineral commodities. This is especially the case for commodities required for new and emerging technologies ranging from electric vehicles to wind turbines. In this analysis, we use a conventional risk-modeling framework to develop and apply a new methodology for assessing the supply risk to the U.S. manufacturing sector. Specifically, supply risk is defined as the confluence of three factors: the likelihood of a foreign supply disruption, the dependency of U.S. manufacturers on foreign supplies, and the ability of U.S. manufacturers to withstand a supply disruption. The methodology is applied to 52 commodities for the decade spanning 2007–2016. The results indicate that a subset of 23 commodities, including cobalt, niobium, rare earth elements, and tungsten, pose the greatest supply risk. This supply risk is dynamic, shifting with changes in global market conditions.