United States decreases 63% its imports of gallium from China

The United States recorded a 63.1% decrease in its imports of gallium from China in 2023, to 690 million dollars, affected by control measures on Chinese exports of this metal.

With this, China went from being the first supplier of this chemical element in the U.S. market in 2022 to the third position in 2023.

Ahead of China were Canada (1,266 million dollars and a year-on-year growth of 123.1%) and Germany (1,045 million, +1,038.9%), according to data from the Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicated that imports of gallium metal, GaAs wafers and GaN wafers and domestic production of GaAs and GaN wafers continued to account for all U.S. consumption of gallium.

In 2023, imports of gallium metal contracted due to declining imports from China, Japan and Slovakia.

Beginning in 2019, U.S. imports of gallium metal declined substantially from previous years because higher tariffs were imposed on Chinese gallium exports to the United States.

Then, in August 2023, the Chinese government implemented controls on gallium exports, requiring China’s gallium exporters to conduct licensing procedures.

Imports of gallium

According to the USGS, primary prices for low-purity (99.99% pure) gallium in China averaged $240 per kilogram in June 2023, down 23% from $310 per kilogram in January 2023 and down 53% from $510 per kilogram in June 2022.

Gallium prices decreased in the first half of 2023 due to reduced demand for gallium from the LED and neodymium (NdFeB) magnet markets and an increase in China’s primary low-purity gallium production capacity.


On August 1, China’s Ministry of Commerce implemented a measure aimed at imposing a permit system for the export of gallium and germanium items on the grounds of protecting national security and interests.

Among other countries, Japan expressed concerns about this measure.

While there is information that export permits have been granted to some companies, Japanese companies have expressed concern that it takes a long time to obtain export licenses.


Redacción Opportimes