Commodity Market Report

Lithium market 2021 outlook to 2050

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29 December 2021

Lithium market 2021 outlook to 2050

Report summary

The inaugural lithium report contains a significant overhaul of both supply and demand as strong methodologies and datasets have been combined. Our outlook has been extended to 2050. The last few years have been remarkable for the lithium industry and 2021 was no exception. With demand growth outstripping supply growth we saw spot prices increase to record levels. With new supply being added continuously in the coming years we are forecasting a relative balance in the market in the near term and we should see prices moderate to more sustainable levels. In the medium term we are forecasting a calculated supply deficit to occur and as a result prices will increase to levels which incentivise additional supply. While growth in demand LFP cathode chemistry will continue to result in strong growth for lithium carbonate, we are forecasting stronger growth for lithium hydroxide as a result of growing demand for high nickel cathode chemistries.

Table of contents

  • Historic prices
  • Current price landscape
    • Battery-grade lithium hydroxide
    • Battery-grade lithium carbonate
    • Technical-grade lithium hydroxide
    • Technical-grade lithium carbonate
    • Chemical-grade spodumene concentrate
    • Lithium chemical market balance outlook
    • Battery-grade lithium chemical market balance outlook
    • Mineral concentrate market outlook
    • Key risks to market balance
    • Lithium chemical demand outlook
    • Mineral concentrate demand outlook
    • Lithium chemical supply outlook
    • Mineral concentrate supply outlook
  • Key risks to the base case outlook
    • Lithium demand in automotive
    • Lithium demand in automotive by region
  • Lithium demand in ESS
  • Lithium demand in portable electronics
  • Li-ion batteries in power applications
  • Lithium demand in motive applications
  • Industrial markets
    • Lithium chemical capacity
    • Chinese production capacity
    • Refined lithium compound supply
    • Lithium reprocessing
    • Lithium chemical cost
    • Mineral concentrate capacity
    • Mineral concentrate output
    • Mineral concentrate cost
  • Outlook
  • Recycling from automotive batteries
    • Price
    • Balance
    • Demand
    • Supply
    • Recycling
    • Benefits of recycling Li-ion batteries
    • Challenges of recycling Li-ion batteries
    • Economic challenge
    • Technical challenge
    • Scaling and timing challenge
    • Li-ion battery recycling process
    • Sorting
    • Pre-treatment
    • Materials separation & metal recovery
    • Pyrometallurgical processing
    • Hydrometallurgical processing
    • Prices

Tables and charts

This report includes 65 images and tables including:

  • Historic lithium prices (contract, US$/t, real 2021)
  • Lithium demand by end-use
  • Li-ion battery demand by end-use
  • Lithium demand in ESS sector by product
  • Lithium demand in portable sector by product
  • Lithium demand in power sector by product
  • Lithium demand in motive sector by product
  • Lithium demand from industrial sectors
  • Recycled lithium chemical supply
  • Battery-grade lithium hydroxide price outlook (US$/t, real 2021)
  • Battery-grade lithium carbonate price outlook (US$/t, real 2021)
  • Technical-grade lithium hydroxide price outlook (US$/t, real 2021)
  • Technical-grade lithium carbonate price outlook (US$/t, real 2021)
  • Chemical-grade spodumene concentrate price outlook (US$/t, real 2021)
  • Lithium chemical balance, base case
  • Lithium chemical balance, all case
  • Battery-grade lithium chemical balance, base case
  • Battery-grade lithium chemical balance, all case
  • Spodumene concentrate balance, base case
  • Spodumene concentrate balance, all case
  • BEV and PHEV penetration by selected regions
  • Summary cathode chemistry
  • Lithium demand by end-use
  • Lithium demand by product
  • Mineral concentrate demand by product
  • Refined supply by country
  • Refined supply by company
  • Mine supply by country
  • Vehicle forecast by drive train
  • Lithium demand in automotive sector by product
  • Lithium demand by region in automotive sector
  • Refined capacity by country
  • Refined capacity by integration
  • Refined capacity by raw material source
  • Refined supply by classification
  • Refined supply by country
  • Top five producers of refined lithium (2021)
  • Top five producers of refined lithium (2030)
  • Refined supply by company, kt LCE
  • Refined battery-grade supply by process
  • Lithium hydroxide cost curve, 2025
  • Lithium brine cost curve, 2025
  • Forecast mine nameplate capacity by company, kt LCE
  • Mine capacity by type (2021)
  • Mine capacity by type (2030)
  • Mine capacity by classification
  • Mine capacity vs converter demand
  • Mine supply by type
  • Mine supply by company
  • Spodumene concentrate cost curve, 2025
  • Project discount factor
  • Global pre-processing capacity of Li-ion batteries, 2025
  • Global materials recovery capacity of Li-ion batteries, 2025
  • Li-ion battery demand and end-of-life (EoL)
  • Commercial processes for Li-ion battery recycling
  • Process diagram of a generic pyrometallurgical recycling process
  • Process diagram of a generic hydrometallurgical recycling process
  • Recoverable materials via different technologies
  • Comparison of different Li-ion battery recycling methods
  • Historic contract prices (US$/t, nominal)
  • Historic demand by end-use and product (US$/t, nominal)
  • Historic refined lithium supply by country, product, integration and tier
  • Historic refined lithium capacity by country, product, integration and tier
  • Historic mineral concentrate supply by type, country, company, integration and tier
  • Historic mineral concentrate capacity by type, country and company

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Lithium market 2021 outlook to 2050

    PDF 1.81 MB