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ShreeMetalPrices: Lithium prices recover following a sharp decrease, but inventories surpluses looms


Lithium prices rose this weeks for the first time in 5 month after plummeting from record high. But the market is likely to be affected next year by fresh supply of the essential mineral for EV batteries that is set to come online.

The nationalisation of Chile’s lithium industry. The world’s No. 2 producer, may slow long-term supply growth, although economists do not anticipate any immediate effects.

According to statistics Analysed by Shree Metal Prices, battery-grade lithium carbonates price in China increased for the first time since November 2022 by 10.6% from the previous week to 182,500 yuan ($26,380) per tonne.

“Demand showed softness earlier in the year. But we’re still anticipating a relatively tight markets for the year on average. And that’s because of much greater demand from electric vehicles sales later in the year,” says Martin Jackson, head of batteries materials at consulting firm CRU.

Global EV sales increased by 55% to 10 million last year. And they are predict to increase by another 35 percent this year.

China, the world’s largest EV market, has been unstable, with new energy vehicle sales down 6.3% in January, in part because EV subsidies are ending after 90 percent growth in 2022.

Since then, sales have increased, and first-quarter EV output increased by 27.7% year over year.

However, price increases for the lithium this year are probably going to be modest.