Demand for Coltan hit a peak in the year 2000 as technologies such as the Sony Playstation 2 hit the market. Demand remained strong with the constant innovations in the cell phone markets, LCD television developments, popularity for laptop computers and advancements in aeronautics industry.
The global economic downturn, combined with the US Defence Logistics Agency's flooding of the market, forced the demand for newly mined Coltan to fall in 2008 and resulted in the closure of Australia's major Coltan mining operations.
The market is now short on the half million pounds of annual supply from the US Defence Logistics Agency. The combination of this deficit, the loss of the Australian supply and the ethical demands forced as a result of the 'Conflict Coltan
', has resulted in a huge loss of global supply.
The global financial outlook began to recover during the middle of 2009. Consumer spending patterns are showing positive signs as the economic recovery gathers momentum. The demand for Coltan based products is also gathering momentum as capacitor manufacturing companies reported a 30% growth in their first quarter earnings, compared to results in the previous year.
The results of less supply, with a rise of demand have caused the price of Coltan ore to rise. During 2011 alone, the price per pound of refined Coltan (Tantalum) has risen from $38-00 in January, to $85-00 in September. The forecast is expected to continue as the economic laws of supply and demand will continue to set the market price to it's rational value.