Global Lithium Market
The market was valued at 198.05-kilo tons lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2016; this is projected to reach 309.37-kilo tons LCE by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 9.33% during the forecast period 2016-2021.
Lithium, a silver-white soft metal, is the lightest metal in the periodic table. It reacts immediately when it meets air and water. In addition, the metal exhibits properties, such as extremely high coefficient of thermal expansion, viscosity modifier in glass melts, highest electrochemical potential when compared to other metals and catalytic & fluxing characteristics. Hence, the metal has numerous applications in various end-user industries such as into industrial, consumer electronics, electric vehicles, energy storage, and medical.
Lithium is widely distributed on earth; however, it does not occur in the elemental form, owing to its high reactivity. Lithium is a rare metal and is found in continental brines, hard rock minerals and clay in various parts of the world in low concentrations. Currently, high-grade lithium ores and brines are the commercial sources of lithium production. Lithium, owing to its excellent electrochemical potential, catalytic characteristics and light weight, is becoming an integral part of the various commercial and industrial sectors.
The global lithium market has been segmented by type and application. By type, the global lithium market is segmented into metal, compounds (carbonate, chloride, hydroxide, and others) and alloys. By application, the market is segmented into batteries, lubricants, aluminum smelting and alloys, air treatment, glass and ceramics, metallurgy (iron & steel castings), polymers, and other applications.
This market is driven by many factors, such as the accelerating demand for electric vehicles, growing usage & demand from portable consumer electronics, rising demand from glass-making industry and many others. However, the growth of the market is hindered due to factors such as high investment costs, lack of experienced professionals for extraction activities and failure of new lithium start-ups. The following chart gives the global market spilt on the basis of end-user industry.
The report contains production and reserve analysis of some of the major countries (Australia, Chile, China, Argentina, Zimbabwe and others) pertaining to the lithium market. The lithium market has also been geographically segmented by consumption. The regional analysis includes Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa. The regions have further been divided into major countries.
The growing adoption of lithium in smart grid electricity, adoption of green tires manufactured from lithium solutions, and other factors are likely to offer numerous opportunities for the growth of the global lithium market. The global lithium market is consolidated and the top four major players account for more than two-thirds share of the global market. Some of the major players in the market include Albemarle Corporation, SQM, FMC Corporation (FMC Lithium), Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc., Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Orocobre Limited, Lithium Americas, Neometals Ltd, and others.
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