December 3, 2021

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The price of lithium is up: they estimate it could rise by 50% in the last quarter of the year

The price of lithium is up: they estimate it could rise by 50% in the last quarter of the year

Saltwater pools at the Rincón Mining lithium camp, in Salar del Rincon, in Salta, Argentina. August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Agustin Markarian

The world’s second largest lithium producer, SQM (Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile), expects average metal prices for batteries to rise about 50% in the last three months of the year compared to the previous quarter.Strong demand for key inputs to electric vehicle manufacturing continues to put pressure on the market.

Reporting the results for the July-September period, SQM General Manager said, Ricardo Ramos, estimated that the metals market will grow this year by 50 percent. “This market growth is putting pressure on prices, so we expect them to be on average about 50% higher in the fourth quarter of this year, compared to the prices reported in the third quarter of 2021.″, Ramos predicted in a statement.

SQM’s earnings report indicated that the jump in lithium demand could be nearly 50% in 2021 compared to the previous year, driven by strong growth in electric vehicle sales. “As new supply has been slow to enter the market, lithium prices have increased significantly over the course of the year,” the report continued.

SQM’s earnings report indicated that the jump in lithium demand could be nearly 50% in 2021 compared to the previous year, driven by strong growth in electric vehicle sales.

According to the agency price reports Metallurgical Intelligence Standard, which specializes in market analysis for the supply chain from lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicles, the value of the metal has increased 25.2% in the past 30 days and 225.3% compared to the past 12 months.

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As of last week, the Argentine Ministry of Mining announced a price of $28,500 per ton of LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent), compared to $26,750 at the beginning of November and $7,353 in the 2020 average.

“Our average price in the third quarter of 2021 was more than 50% of the price we saw in the same period last year, and 25% higher than the price recorded in the second quarter,” SQM stated.

file image.  Reference photo of a person loading a halite concentrate in Salar del Hombre Muerto, an important source of lithium at an altitude of 4,000 metres, on the border of the Argentine provinces of Catamarca and Salta.  October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Enrique Markarian
file image. Reference photo of a person loading a halite concentrate in Salar del Hombre Muerto, an important source of lithium at an altitude of 4,000 metres, on the border of the Argentine provinces of Catamarca and Salta. October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Enrique Markarian

The Chilean miner, which was overtaken by Australia’s Abermale, highlighted the following: “We expect our average price to rise further during the fourth quarter, as legacy contracts continue to expire.”

In Argentina, while plans to increase the production of some companies and other companies intensify their exploration and initial tasks, Lithium exports tripled in September (up 227% year-over-year) to $17.2 million that month.

As of last week, the Argentine Ministry of Mining announced a price of $28,500 per ton of LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent), compared to $26,750 at the beginning of November and $7,353 in the 2020 average.

It must be remembered that the French mining company Last week, Eramet announced to President Alberto Fernandez that it would invest $400 million to resume construction of a lithium plant in Salta County., which will start at the beginning of 2022 and which indicates that after two years the exploitation of this mineral can begin.

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The President met at Casa Rosada with Daniel Chavez Diaz, CEO of Eramine South America, a local subsidiary of Eramet, who confirmed the company’s announced investment in Paris which includes the construction, together with Chinese steelmaker Tsingshan, of a lithium plant at the “Centenario-Ratones” salt flat in Salta which It will have a production capacity of 24,000 tons per year and will enter service at the beginning of 2024.

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