Andrew Miller: Lithium Deals, China’s Conversion Capacity and Prices

- July 19th, 2018

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Senior Analyst Andrew Miller shares his thoughts on the lithium market, prices and what’s ahead.

It’s been an interesting year so far for the lithium market, with many project developments, deals and forecasts impacting investor sentiment. As a result, many lithium-focused investors are wondering what’s next for the market?

At this year’s Lithium Supply and Markets conference in Las Vegas, the Investing News Network had the chance to catch up with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence senior analyst Andrew Miller, who shared his insight on the lithium market.

Speaking about the current state of demand, Miller said demand growth in China had been a bit slower in the first half of the year, something he expects to improve in the second half.

“We are starting to enter that period where the electric vehicle demand is becoming a reality, is becoming a real driving force in the industry. And I think you’re going to see signs of that certainly in the second half of the year and moving into 2019, as we approach the ramp up in many of the megafactories,” Miller said.

Looking over to supply, the expert explained that despite the concerns seen at the start of the year, the key is in China’s conversion capacity.

He added, “the question then becomes where is the conversion capacity in China? And how much is actually really available? And then again, how much of that is going to be battery-grade material?

“From our perspective, we spend a lot of time on the road in the first half of the year visiting these plants, looking at the conversion facilities and making our own independent assessment of where we see that going. And we think there is going to be a bit of a bottleneck especially in terms of producing a battery-grade material,” Miller said.

In terms of deals, he expects the lithium market to see more partnerships and agreements, and potential investments between different companies in the supply chain.

“I think that’s just something that’s going to continue and escalate in the next couple of years,” he added.

Listen to the interview above for more insight from Miller, including his thoughts on Australia and South America, prices and what will be the key drivers of the market in the next few months.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in contributed article. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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