This collapse has been devastating, look at how it is impacting people.
January 31 (King World News) – Gerald Celente: In recent months, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have stalled around the world. High sticker prices, high interest rates, and a global economic slowdown have left post-inflation consumers reluctant or unable to pay the more than $50,000 cost of an EV.
As a result, lithium’s price has plunged 80 percent in the past 12 months. It now sits at about $13,200, its lowest price since 2020.
Lithium is the central ingredient in EV batteries.
Plans for new lithium mines have been shelved and mining companies are looking to cut costs to cope with their shrunken market. Partially processed ores have stockpiled along the supply chain, the Financial Times reported.
Pilbara Minerals, a key Australian lithium supplier, saw revenues plummet 46 percent in 2023’s fourth quarter. Liontown Resources had secured a $760-million loan to develop a new lithium mine but the loan was abruptly canceled as lithium’s price collapsed…
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Albemarle Corp., a leading lithium producer, has announced layoffs and a $95-million cost-cutting initiative.
“Too many new projects came online in too short a space of time,” William Adams, chief commodities researcher at data service Fastmarkets, said to the FT.
Lithium will pile up a 200,000-ton surplus this year, Goldman Sachs analysts have estimated, requiring “substantial supply cuts” to rebalance the market.
While EV sales have throttled back everywhere, the greatest impact has been in China.
The country has prioritized EV manufacture and offered generous incentives to buyers. EV sales rocketed up 85 percent in 2022.
However, with China’s economy on life support, buyers now are few. The EV market grew by only 25 percent in 2023 and automakers and analysts are warning of a “bloodbath” from looming discount wars.
The silver lining: “China will see the pullback in prices as an opportunity to stake more claim in the market,” Adams noted.
Ganfeng Lithium, China’s largest producer, has inked a deal to virtually double its purchases of spodumene concentrate, from which lithium can be extracted, from Pilbara through 2026.
Because lithium supplies are small and markets are not yet fully developed, the metal’s price is prone to volatility, Citi analysts pointed out in a recent note.
“The current lower price environment could prime the market for a rebound in the second half of 2024,” they said.
We have long warned that EVs were being oversold and that mandates to limit or end sales of petrol-powered vehicles would not give consumers the money to pay the typical $50,000-plus cost of an electric car.
Surveys show that public interest in EVs has not waned. However, potential buyers are waiting until EVs evolve to offer the ease and convenience of driving a conventional car or truck.
That means interior amenities and comforts, quick refueling, easy access to charging stations that actually work, and sticker prices no greater—and preferably less than—those typical of today’s cars and trucks.
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