US lithium demand predicted to grow nearly 500% by 2030; Fastmarkets steps in to provide regional price transparency

Read more about how we are segmenting our lithium price assessments for western markets

Fastmarkets, an industry-leading cross-commodity price-reporting agency (PRA), launches region-specific lithium price assessments for western markets to increase price transparency ahead of significant growth in electric vehicle (EV) demand. Fastmarkets forecasts a significant growth in demand for lithium in the US of 487% to almost 412,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent by 2030.

Fastmarkets was the first price reporting agency to launch spot battery-grade and technical-grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate price assessments for the US and Europe. Pricing histories for these markets are available back to 2017. Fastmarkets has been pricing lithium markets for over 60 years.

The battery raw materials market has evolved significantly since 2017, with supply and demand factors playing out markedly differently in North America, Europe and Asia. Previously, Fastmarkets provided price assessments for the US and Europe combined. These prices are now being amended to price the US and Canada jointly, and Europe separately. Pricing the US and Canadian lithium markets separately to Europe is essential to capture distinct regional dynamics following the implementation of the US Inflation Reduction Act.

By launching new regional weekly price assessments for spot battery-grade and technical-grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate for the two regions, Fastmarkets demonstrates its readiness to respond to the demands of its customers.

The four new US and Canadian prices will support the EV supply chain as well as traditional industries reliant on lithium and will serve as a vital reference point for market participants, including producers, consumers, traders, and investors, enabling them to effectively manage risk, negotiate contracts and optimize their trading strategies.

Grace Asenov, base and energy metals editor for the Americas, Fastmarkets, said: “Up until now, there has been no way to track lithium pricing dynamics for the US and Canada specifically, though the region faces distinct challenges and opportunities stemming from the Inflation Reduction Act. With the growing importance of lithium in various industries, including electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and consumer electronics, reliable and regionalized pricing data is essential for market participants to make informed decisions. This initiative will empower stakeholders in both the physical and financial markets to navigate the domestic lithium market with confidence.” 

Jordan Roberts, battery raw materials analyst, Fastmarkets, said:”In tandem with demand growth is the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will have a material impact on evolving battery supply chain dynamics. The sourcing requirements to be eligible for tax credits offered under the IRA are expected to result in a price differential (premium) compared to other regions, which should be beneficial to lithium project development in the US.”

Raju Daswani, CEO, Fastmarkets said: “Fastmarkets boasts an unmatched history of lithium pricing. We’re the first to offer such a comprehensive set of regional prices on a weekly frequency, which we believe suits the current market’s maturity. Our launch of lithium price assessments showcases our commitment to empowering the EV and battery industries with essential market insights.”

The specifications for the new, weekly US and Canadian lithium price assessments are as follows:

  • MB-LI-0044 Lithium carbonate 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price ddp US and Canada, $ per kg
  • MB-LI-0045 Lithium hydroxide monohydrate LiOH.H2O, 56.5% LiOH min, battery grade, spot price ddp US and Canada, $ per kg
  • MB-LI-0046 Lithium carbonate 99% Li2CO3 min, technical and industrial grades, spot price ddp US and Canada, $ per kg
  • MB-LI-0047 Lithium hydroxide monohydrate LiOH.H2O, 56.5% LiOH min, technical and industrial grades, spot price ddp US and Canada, $ per kg

The amended Europe price assessments are as follows:

Join Fastmarkets at the 16th Lithium Supply and Battery Raw Materials conference, held June 24-27 in Las Vegas, to discuss, debate and network with Fastmarkets experts and industry leaders across the supply chain.

Interested in lithium prices? Find out how we can help you or email media@fastmarkets.com to connect with one of our analysts.

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