Global and China Lithium Carbonate Industry Report, 2017-2021
"In 2017, global lithium mineral reserves reached 16 million tons, of which Chile boasted roughly 7.5 million tons, occupying 46.88% of the global total; China followed with 3.2 million tons, taking a 20% share. That meant a combined 66.88% of the total was held by the two countries.
Mature oligopolies are major contributors to supply increase of lithium resources in the short run. In 2017, the world’s output of lithium carbonate amounted to 235.4kt, a year-on-year upsurge of 21.5%, and with increments largely from Mt Marion and Mt. Cattlin mines in Australia. In 2018, global lithium supply will outstrip 250kt (lithium carbonate) because of the continuous production of the two Australian mines and the expected release of 20kt/a Phase II (lithium carbonate) of Albemarle’s La Negra. There are more than 20 lithium capacity expansion and new construction projects around the globe, which are built to meet the soaring lithium demand. Rocskill predicts the global lithium capacity of nearly 447kt/a (lithium carbonate) in 2025.
At the end of 2017, China saw the basic lithium salt capacity surge by 47% from 170kt/a in 2016 to roughly 250kt/a, including 178kt lithium carbonate, 54kt lithium hydroxide and 18kt lithium chloride, which covered battery grade and industry grade capacity as well as processing capacity of foreign companies in China. In 2018, the degree of matching between releasing time and progress of new lithium salt capacity, and production and expansion of cathode material production lines in China, will affect the supply and demand of lithium salt at home and abroad.
Despite capacity expansions by Chinese lithium carbonate producers in recent years, the enterprises concerned run actual capacity far lower than designed one, and exacerbated a slower capacity release, resulting in supply shortage of lithium carbonate in the Chinese market. Additionally, as Chinese enterprises mostly import Australian ores as raw materials, production capacity may be limited by rising costs of raw materials in the long term. In 2017, China reported the lithium carbonate output of 123.4kt while apparent consumption of 127kt, leaving a supply gap of 33kt. There will be still an expected tight balance between supply and demand of lithium carbonate in China during 2018-2020.
Global and China Lithium Carbonate Industry Report, 2017-2021 highlights the followings:
Global and China’s lithium carbonate supply and demand, supply gap, the demand for lithium carbonate from downstream sectors, especially new energy vehicles, energy storage, and consumer electronics;
Global and China’s competitive landscape, including market share of foreign and domestic companies, capacity planning, market pattern, etc.;
China’s lithium carbonate imports and exports, covering import/export value, prices, sources, destinations, etc.;
China’s production costs of lithium carbonate with lithium extracted from ores and from salt lake brine, price trends, etc.;
China’s lithium battery industry, including shipment, technology roadmap, market pattern, etc.;
Operation, technology, development planning, and output & sales of 8 lithium carbonate suppliers in the United States, Chile, Australia, etc.;
Operation, technology, development planning, and output & sales of 14 Chinese lithium carbonate producers.
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