The Winter Olympics in China foresee making the price of lithium more expensive and, therefore, that of electric cars. The reason? Some producers in the northern provinces of the country, such as Shandong and Hebei, face anti-pollution restrictions on the eve of their celebration in February, which, together with the maintenance of various plants, will reduce the supply and, as a consequence, it will push prices up further.
This scenario has given even more wings to lithium, known as white gold, which does not hit the brakes. Its price has multiplied by almost three times during the past year and at this start of the year it is already rebounding above double digits, which will make electric cars more expensive, since this component is used, above all, in car batteries. electrical
The sharp rise in the price of lithium, together with that of other raw materials, will cause battery prices rise this year for the first time since 2010, according to Bloomberg. For example, nickel is another of the great ingredients in the device that stores electrical energy in vehicles and its appreciation has also been remarkable, since it has set highs in the last nine years.
At this price pressure too Strong demand for this type of vehicle has influenced, which faces a new supply shock. “The lithium market is extremely tight at the moment, so prices are very sensitive to any disruption in supply,” says Alice Yu, an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
And if that was not enough, China’s Lunar New Year may also cause market tensions, since the main buyers will seek to source these components before the imminent stoppage of refineries in China. In addition, the rebound in covid cases after the omicron irruption has also had an impact, since in some mining companies, such as those in Australia, there is already a labor shortage derived from the restrictions applied by the country.
Thus, the Australian lithium and tantalite mining company, Pilbara Minerals Ltd., cut its forecast for shipments of spodumene, a lithium-bearing mineral, a few days ago. which can be turned into chemicals for electric car batteries.