INN talked to Andrew Miller of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence about lithium, graphite and investments in the battery metals space.
In a challenging year for most battery raw materials, lithium-focused investors continue to wait on the sidelines trying to figure out the answer to one question: are we at the bottom for prices?
At this year’s Cathodes conference, the Investing News Network caught up with Andrew Miller, head of price assessment at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, to talk about where lithium prices are and where they are going in 2020.
“I think we are certainly close to the bottom,” he said on the sidelines of the show. “A lot of what has happened this year has been driven by the excess capacity at feedstock level, so you have to look at the dynamics in that part of the market.”
Miller added that going into next year, he is not expecting any major uptick in lithium prices from where we are at the moment.
“(When you look at) particularly the prices we are seeing in China, and you look at the existing cost structure in the industry, I don’t think you are going to see much (lower prices),” he said. “There will be a stabilization of prices going into the new year, (then) coming to the second half of next year you are going to see some improvements on pricing.”
Speaking about demand for lithium, Miller said he expects to continue to see growth for the metal.
“I think that is something that is often overlooked, maybe it is not where people were hoping it would be this year. It is 2021 to 2022 when you really start seeing some significant increases in order volumes … so I think starting the second half of next year you are going to start seeing that gradual growth.”
Looking over to the anode space, Miller talked about the role of graphite and what he expects will happen to the raw material going forward.
“In our perspective, graphite will remain the dominant raw material for anodes in the long term,” he said. “It will be a blend of natural and synthetic … you are still going to see a huge amount of growth in graphite.”
Watch above for more of Miller’s thoughts on investments in the battery metals space, prices and trends to watch in 2020. You can also click here for more video interviews from Benchmark Minerals Week.
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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 the interviews it conducts. 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.