Consulting analysts in tomorrow’s commodities and technologies

Lithium Market Reports

Lithium demand is positioned to rapidly grow over the next 20 years, largely owing to lithium-ion batteries (especially in electric vehicles). Despite the current price regime inducing mine closures, the market remains well supplied in the near-term.

New supply will inevitably be motivated as EV uptake accelerates in the coming years but the supply response must be more disciplined to ensure long-term revenues.

Quarterly Lithium Market Report

This quarterly price risk report is designed to aid investors and industry stakeholders to monitor and contextualise market impacting events. The rapidly evolving nature of government policy, electric vehicle (EV) roll-out plans, the battery industry value chain, and lithium market players requires detailed analysis and interpretation to provide the reader with information on the most up-to-date risks to metal markets and pricing.

Who should read this Price Radar Report?

  • All industry stakeholders and new business entrants who need to keep abreast of the evolving influences on the lithium market and price, including automotive and industrial end-users, battery industry players, mining companies and juniors, as well as recyclers.
  • Investors and financial institutions needing to understand and quantify the risks and opportunities in the industry, future costs of production and short- to medium-term prices.

Market outlook for lithium

Released four times a year on a subscription basis, the Quarterly Lithium Market Report will keep you abreast of rapidly evolving developments in the lithium market, providing you with a competitive edge.

The content of each market report will vary according to industry events and market developments, but will be tailored to incorporate an individual client’s specific strategic requirements. Typically, the reports will include:

  • SFA (Oxford)’s five-year price forecast for lithium carbonate and battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
  • The impact of powertrain technology trends, specifically EV forecast risks including: global powertrain evolution and electrification, automaker announcements and implications for commodities, EU CO2 targets and opportunities for EVs, hybrid technology developments, China’s policies and the new energy vehicle (NEV) market, and US market risks.
  • Lithium market: price developments, battery-grade demand, battery cathode chemistries, lithium carbonate vs. hydroxide, battery factory developments and industry players, supply response, reserves and resources, supply vs. demand, and supply risks from hard rock and brine operations.
  • Producer economics of primary lithium (LCE) and lithium hydroxide operations, including factors influencing cost inflation and exchange rate and volume impacts.
  • Macroeconomic developments on supply-demand fundamentals and technology (Global with emphasis on US, EU and China - the three largest EV markets).
  • Comments on the political and socio-economic risks impacting primary supply output over the outlook period.
  • Detailed market balances: lithium market (total, LCE basis), battery-grade lithium hydroxide (on a lithium hydroxide monohydrate basis).
  • Supporting data: supply by region, producer and operation, battery-grade lithium hydroxide supply by operation, lithium and lithium hydroxide supply from probable and possible projects, lithium demand by end-use, lithium EV demand by region, battery-grade lithium hydroxide demand by region.

Conference call

Each report is supported by a conference call with SFA (Oxford)'s team of analysts, which will take place shortly after you receive the report. At that time, our team of analysts can answer any questions you may have about the outlook for the lithium and lithium hydroxide markets.

The Lithium Market Report

SFA (Oxford) has independently tracked the lithium market and prices on behalf of its clients over the last decade. Of particular interest has been the economics (incentive pricing) of brine and hard rock suppliers relative to growing demand for lithium products, particularly battery-grade materials.

The 2040 Lithium Market Outlook Report

Find out more about our latest 2040 Lithium Market Outlook Report.

Future potential lithium supply and economics

Lithium ponds

SFA (Oxford)'s Lithium Market Report provides a detailed evaluation of lithium mining worldwide (by operation, company and country), including the unique attributes of brine deposits in South America, as well as hard rock deposits elsewhere.

A review of lithium projects incentivised by recent high lithium carbonate and hydroxide (and spodumene concentrate) prices is also provided, including detailed profiles of Argentinian and Australian operations in development which account for the bulk of potential new suppliers.

The report then profiles the maximum potential supply relative to electric vehicle uptake scenarios over the next ten years, and also on an indicative basis out to 2040. The study presents a comprehensive overview of the critical success factors for lithium operations and projects, and provides detailed primary lithium (LCE) and battery-grade lithium hydroxide supply-demand balances.

Electric vehicles: Lithium market implications

Electric vehicle charging

Lithium is used in a variety of end-uses and in various forms, with automotive batteries making up just a fifth of demand last year. However, in future, electric vehicle batteries are forecast to dominate end-use and so lithium is likely to play an increasing role in energy storage solutions.

The report employs our analysis of powertrain evolution over many years, as well as recent in-depth battery studies, to understand the risks to lithium demand uptake in the future (using high-low scenarios). Demand for lithium by powertrain type and vehicle type is detailed.

An evaluation of battery factory capacity development is also provided, being the key link to lithium suppliers, end-users and price evolution. The future of lithium-ion batteries, including threats and opportunities, is also reviewed.

Additionally, an analysis of existing and potential end-uses is presented, including consumer electronics demand, glass/ceramics and other non-battery end-uses.

Our report concludes with a range of supply-demand outlooks and price forecasts to highlight where potential pinch points for the market might occur in future, and to help gauge the global resources of lithium.

Who should read this report

  • End-users and fabricators in need of an independent supply, demand and pricing picture of the lithium market and its evolving applications and the fall-out from electric vehicle uptake.
  • Producers and fabricators requiring an independent review of end-use evolution, including opportunities, threats and substitutes, as well as an understanding of price risks.
  • Investors seeking an independent view on the outlook for the lithium market and prices.

The report

The Lithium Market Report comprises 200 pages and will include a follow-up conference call to discuss the report with our team of analysts.

The report includes the following sections:

  • Contextualisation of supply and production economics: brines and mineral sources
  • Evaluation of new sources of lithium supply
  • A wave of new lithium hydroxide capacity
  • Recycling potential
  • The evolution of battery cathode chemistries: LFP, NCA and NMC
  • Battery cathode changes and resulting impacts on lithium demand
  • Battery developments, costs, manufacturers and plant expansions
  • Lithium demand by powertrain and vehicle class
  • The long-term outlook for automobile electrification, including 'bull' and 'bear' scenarios
  • Consumer electronics demand
  • Non-battery end-use evolution
  • Lithium carbonate (LCE) and lithium hydroxide market summaries and price outlook to 2040 

Consulting

SFA has over a decade of hands-on engineering experience in battery raw materials, including aiding investors with project and plant due diligence in the lithium industry, on-site visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants in Australasia, as well as price forecasting and market studies. Leveraging off this wealth of expertise, SFA continues to be a reliable partner for stakeholders and investors in the battery raw materials space.