BATTERY MATERIALS EUROPE: Keliber supports lithium pricing mechanism

A benchmark price is needed in the lithium industry, Pertti Lamberg, the CEO at Finnish lithium company Keliber, said at Fastmarkets' Battery Materials Europe 2019 conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Keliber has been actively supporting a price mechanism that can be used as a benchmark by the industry, Lamberg said during a lithium panel on Friday September 27.

“A price mechanism is needed against old industry practices such as the use of trade statistics which provide outdated prices while mixing diverse grades of lithium compounds,” the CEO added.

Daniel Jimenez, partner at mining consultancy iLimarkets, also spoke on the lithium panel discussion, explaining that a lithium price mechanism will smooth negotiations and help forge longstanding relationships between producers and consumers.

Fastmarkets is developing in conjunction with the London Metal Exchange a transparent and representative global lithium price, the bourse announced on June 10.

“In recent years there has been unprecedented price volatility in the lithium market, driven particularly by explosive electric vehicle (EV) battery demand,” LME head of market development Robin Martin said in a press release at the time.

“We have been supporting Fastmarkets’ lithium prices because it makes negotiations easier and provides the market with the transparency needed,” Pertti said in Amsterdam.

Keliber has an objective of producing battery grade lithium hydroxide for the international market, according to the company website.

Fastmarkets has identified the ex-works China market as the most liquid spot market for battery-grade lithium at present.

The lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price range exw domestic China has tumbled to 60,000-68,000 yuan ($8,416-9,538) per tonne on September 26 from 110,000-125,000 yuan per tonne a year ago on September 27, 2018.