Albemarle lays off 300 employees on weak lithium prices – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – January 29, 2024)

Albemarle (NYSE: ALB), the world’s largest lithium producer, is said to have laid off more than 300 employees, or 4% of its total workforce, across its US and global operations.

The move, reported by The Information, comes as an oversupply of the ultra-light metal used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries has caused prices to collapse. Lithium has plunged more than 80% from a late-2022 record high, with experts predicting that lithium carbonate prices in top consumer and producer China could fall by more than 30% this year from December 2023 levels.

The price of lithium has tumbled to $13,200 per tonne, its lowest level since 2020, data from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence shows.

Goldman Sachs recently said it estimated a surplus of 200,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, or 17% of global demand, this year. It anticipated the situation to push producers, particularly Australians, to “substantially” reduce output to balance the market.

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