China Giant Ganfeng Says Lithium Could Return to Boom-Time Highs – by Annie Lee (Bloomberg News – June 24, 2021)

(Bloomberg) — Ganfeng Lithium Co., the lithium supplier that’s extending an acquisition spree, says there’s a chance that a tightening market for the battery metal could push prices back toward a record high.

The world’s third-largest producer of lithium chemicals, used in batteries for electric vehicles to grid-scale energy storage, is positioning to capitalize as the market extends a rebound from a more than two year slump that ended in September.

“The industry is rapidly growing and we have a very upbeat forecast on lithium consumption,” Vice Chairman Wang Xiaoshen said in an interview. “I can’t rule out the possibility for lithium prices to bounce back to the 2018 level.”

Lithium prices surged from 2015 to mid-2018 as rising demand from electric automakers outpaced available supply from a small network of mining and refining companies. A subsequent rush to add new sources of raw materials, chiefly from Australian mines and South American brine operations, then sent the metal tumbling.

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