• How to ensure commodities security in a volatile world

April 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put a spotlight on Europe’s uncomfortable dependencies. Securing access to important commodities is key to economic resilience, as well as digital and sustainable transformation – and this requires rethinking sourcing strategies as our new flow special white paper outlines

Commodities procurement will be a fundamental determinant of future economic growth as certain metals play an increasingly critical role in major economies’ sustainable and digital transformation. Over the next few years, batteries, semiconductors, wind power plants, solar panels, and electrolysis will massively increase the demand for key metals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earths.

These trends accelerate at a time when Europe depends heavily on commodities imports from a handful of countries that control concentrated deposits as well as refinery capacity. Of the 30 critical raw materials that the European Commission identifies, 10 are mostly sourced from China and eight from the African continent, where China increasingly invests in commodity-related infrastructure.

How to ensure commodities security in a volatile world (pdf) Geopolitics and ESG provide new challenges to commodities security

Another key player for commodities supplies is Russia. Germany in particular sources many raw materials such as iron, aluminium, copper, nickel and vanadium from Russia. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, these supplies are no longer secure. This makes it necessary for Germany to identify the relevant raw materials for future technologies and to secure access to these materials.

What are the key metals? And how can access be ensured in times of geopolitical conflicts and decarbonisation commitments which affect mining and refinery output? In this flow special white paper, we have outlined various strategies that could be pursued to secure the supply – including, among others, building up strategic reserves and increasing recycling rates.

Yet, rethinking Germany’s commodities strategy also requires new approaches towards financing. Therefore, this white paper brings to the table several preliminary suggestions as to how the German government, capital markets, banks and corporates might work together to ensure investment into a sustainable commodities strategy.

To download the white paper, please click here.

How to ensure commodities security in a volatile world (pdf) Download white paper