Column: Goldman sparks bear-bull battle in the lithium market – by Andy Home (Reuters – June 15, 2022)

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) – Is the white-hot lithium market about to be dowsed in a cold cyclical shower of oversupply? Goldman Sachs thinks so.

“We expect lithium prices to continue to correct for the rest of the year and remain under pressure from increasing supply over the next few years,” the Wall Street heavyweight argued in a May 29 battery metals research note. (“The end of the beginning”). It’s a bold call, given the supply-chain stresses that have caused spot lithium carbonate prices to surge over 900% since the start of 2021.

The backlash from lithium bulls has been ferocious, specialist consultancy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI) issuing a June 9 riposte titled “Lithium Oversupply? Not likely”.

The narrative around the outlook for the electric vehicle battery enabler is fiercely contested and will remain so for the foreseeable future. However, the clash of bull-bear views has at least pin-pointed some of the big “known unknowns” at work in the lithium supply chain.

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