Australia forecasts brutal lithium price correction as output surges – by Frik Els ( – July 4, 2023)

The lithium market has been in turmoil with dramatic price swings over the last five years as demand from electric cars take off and global supply growth struggles to keep up.

In its quarterly report released on Monday, the Australian government said it expects spodumene prices to decline slightly from an average of $4,368 a tonne in 2022 to average $4,357 a tonne in 2023 as the precipitous decline from record spot prices in the second half of last year take time to feed into long-term supply contracts.

However, 2024 will see a dramatic drop-off in contract value for Australia’s hard rock miners with prices declining nearly 40% year-on-year to $2,740 a tonne on average during the year and fall further to $2,149 a tonne in 2025.

That compares to an average of just $671 a tonne over the three years to 2021 according to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. Some 96% of Australian exports are destined for China.

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