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US Lithium Carbonate Market Finds Stability in March 2024 Amidst Shifting EV Demand Dynamics
US Lithium Carbonate Market Finds Stability in March 2024 Amidst Shifting EV Demand Dynamics

US Lithium Carbonate Market Finds Stability in March 2024 Amidst Shifting EV Demand Dynamics

  • 27-Mar-2024 2:49 PM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler

Texas, USA: The Lithium Carbonate market in the USA has demonstrated stability throughout March 2024, with prices rebounding after falling for the past seven months. At the beginning of March, Lithium Carbonate prices increased in the US domestic market due to imports of expensive goods from Chile. As Chinese and other Asian markets reopened, consumers began restocking their inventories. Furthermore, the uptick in prices was bolstered by the performance of Lithium Carbonate futures on the Guangzhou Futures Exchange in China. All these factors positively influenced the Lithium Carbonate market across the nation.

In terms of domestic demand, consumption of Lithium Carbonate has remained moderate due to an oversupplied market. Despite achieving a new record, electric vehicle (EV) sales in the United States fell short of projections by as many as 800,000 units in 2023, even as they soared to unprecedented levels. The offered quotations for Lithium Carbonate DDP USGC settled at USD 15,000/MT in the week ending on 22nd March 2024.

High domestic supplies of Lithium Carbonate were attributed to extensive procurement in the past and sluggish consumption patterns. However, few consumers were still procuring as EV sales continued to grow in smaller volumes. Due to drought in the Panama Canal, significantly fewer ships can navigate through the canal. Many vessels opted for longer sea routes, leading to increased expenses and higher freight charges. Consequently, there have been delays in the shipments of Lithium Carbonate.

Towards the end of March, prices of Lithium Carbonate stabilized in the US domestic market. Demand from downstream battery manufacturing industries, as well as Energy Storage Systems (ESS) manufacturers, remained moderate due to weak EV sales. Recently, Tesla scaled back car production at its China plant due to sluggish demand and fierce competition in the market. Lithium prices in Europe and the United States remained stable over the week, with little change being reported.

Despite recent price hikes in China, these increases have not yet fully affected the international lithium market. As reported, the United States is poised to increase its imports of minerals from Chile. This move aligns with the US goal to rely less on China for clean technology supplies, such as solar parts and EV batteries. China, being the biggest EV maker, bought most of Chile's lithium exports last year. To balance this, Chile is creating a new plan for its lithium production to avoid being controlled by just one country.

According to the ChemAnalyst database, the prices of Lithium Carbonate are anticipated to exhibit further stability in the upcoming weeks backed by improved demand and rapid expansion projects.

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