China’s possible policy shift on hybrid cars further dampens market sentiment
TOKYO — Prices for rare-earth metals are falling sharply, with the price of cobalt dropping 30% since the start of the year, and that for lithium remaining sluggish.
Global markets are swimming in rare earths, as production has outstripped demand for the batteries used to power electric vehicles. Speculation is rife that demand for the commodities will slow further as China considers promoting production of hybrid cars, which require fewer rare earths. This is further stifling market sentiment.
Cobalt and lithium are mainly used to make cathodes for lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. Spot prices for cobalt in Europe are near three-year lows. Continue Reading →