Industrial lithium consumers may face struggle to maintain supply as battery sector steals scene

Lithium market participants have voiced concern about the ability to secure supply of industrial-grade lithium compounds due to an increasingly larger share of the market being taken up by the battery sector.

With long-term contract negotiations for next year's supply unfolding, traditional industrial buyers spoke of surging demand from the battery sector globally and said they expect increasing procurement challenges and higher prices in the coming years. In an increasingly tight global market, major global suppliers of lithium chemicals have struggled to allocate units to the spot market outside their long-term commitments due to rising demand from the battery industry during the year. Lithium is a key ingredient in batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs), demand for which was expected to surge in the medium term. But it has also been traditionally used in a number of chemical and industrial applications, such as glass and ceramics’ production, lubricating grease and other uses, where it is an essential ingredient. Market participants suggested that the battery space will be driving the direction of prices going forward and will take up a growing percentage of market share, sparking...


Davide Ghilotti

Dalila Ouerghi

November 16, 2021

15:57 GMT