Ken Hoffman: Lithium Market Myths, Prices and What’s Ahead

- July 13th, 2018

Ken Hoffman, basic materials expert at McKinsey & Co., talks about myths in the lithium market, solid-state batteries and what metal to watch out for next in this exclusive interview with the Investing News Network.

Speaking with the Investing News Network (INN) at this year’s Lithium Supply and Markets conference in Las Vegas, Ken Hoffman, basic materials expert at McKinsey & Co., talked about the myths in the lithium market, prices and what’s ahead.

“I think the biggest myth that people miss is that there is not one lithium price. The lithium market will really diverge into a whole bunch of different chemistries, different levels of purity, etc.,” Hoffman said.

“I think people need to back off from “it’s just a lithium overall market” to really go down deep into the different [stages] what are the producers selling? what are the buyers buying? and how the match-up in supply and demand for each one of those categories works,” he added.

Hoffman, who gave a presentation during the electric vehicle briefing day, shared his thoughts on battery breakthrough technology and how it may impact the market.

“The battery technology that I think we’ll see pretty solidly for the next five to seven years is a nickel-heavy battery, nickel-manganesecobalt (NMC) or the nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) battery that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) uses. That seems to be where the battery industry is going,” he said.

But things might start to get interesting after 2020, when new technology could disrupt the current market.

Hoffman also shared his insight on lithium demand, which he expects to increase going forward.

“In our 2030 forecast, we see demand rising from today’s. We’re at 220,000 metric tonnes. Our base case analysis says that will be about 1.3 million metric tonnes. Our aggressive case analysis says they will be about 1.9 million metric tonnes. Either way, it’s a very significant increase,” he said.

Listen to the interview above to hear what Hoffman had to say about solid state batteries, lithium prices and what metal to watch out for in the next few years.

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.

Lithium in 2018

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