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Offer lithium exceeds demand

Offer lithium exceeds demand

Experts of the British company CRU voiced their assumptions about lithium. The connection of this very light metal used for the production of lithium-ion current sources. Today there is a definite shortage on the global lithium market. However, next year the deficit will cease to occur. Gradually, supplies of the metal will outpace its consumption. It is expected that in 2022, the oversupply will be at its peak.

Demand for lithium from the battery manufacturers continues to grow. Together with insufficient volumes of production it has led to higher spot value. Less than a year the price has gone up almost doubled, exceeding USD 10,000/ton. The rapid increase in prices stimulates the activity of the new growers receiving the metal from the ore or brine of the salt ponds. It is expected that by the end of this decade in China large projects are being implemented. Perhaps other countries by the deadline will start operation of new production capacity. In this case, the volume of production of lithium on the global market in 2020 may increase to 500,000 tons. This figure exceeds the result of 2016, two and a half times. While the cost of the metal in average in 2020 will be about 6.5−7 thousand USD/ton.

However, there are doubts about the correctness of such predictions. It is possible that in the near future, the excess lithium market is not threatened. So the price of the metal will remain at a decent level. The consumption of lithium may grow fast enough so that the glut in the market is not expected. It is possible that in 2020 the global production of lithium-ion batteries will increase 6 times compared to 2016. For example, Tesla expects by the end of the decade to produce annually about 500,000 electric cars. This will require at least 200,000 tonnes of lithium.

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