In the infrastructure bill, President Biden wants the solar industry to expand and by 2030 half the vehicles sold to be electric. Those are good ideals and can and will create good outcomes to battle global warming. Along the way, there will be logistical challenges of raw materials.
In an article by Zandi Shabalala of Reuters, one of those logistical challenges with be lithium.
To ensure the increase sales of electric vehicles, they will need rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that give the power to run the cars and trucks. According to Max Deudon, a trader at Transamine in Geneva, Switzerland, the market for lithium is very tight with companies competing for any spot tonnage available.
Electric vehicle batteries can use lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide, but the industry typically talks of volumes in lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). This year spot prices is LCE have increased 170% to $27,823 a tonne, the highest since April 2018.
Prices of spodumen, a source of lithium mainly mined in Australia has climbed 144% to $1,254 a tonne.
Demand for lithium is expected to jump 26.1% or about 100,000 tonnes of LCE to a total of 450,000 tonnes. or a deficit of 10,000 tonnes according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Some of the mining companies which mine Spodumen are Albemarle, Pilbara Minerals, Ganfeng and Tianqi Lithium.
Global sales of electric vehicles were up 150% in the seven months to July to just over 3 million units, compared with the same period in 2021. According to Rho Motion 1.3 million of the total was sold in China.
Linking to dividend paying companies, all companies love to have the government on their side and their government doing everything it can to increase their presence in the marketplace, then reality or logistics happen. Supply chains or logistics determine outcomes and what the consumer has choice on. When examining your investments, do your homework on the supply chain to see how well connected and where the loose links are to be found.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.