Lithium carbonate price May 2024 and outlook (see chart below)

  • North America:US$30.87/KG, 1.1% up
  • Europe:US$21.65/KG, 1.6% up
  • Northeast Asia:US$25.07/KG, 1.3% up
  • South America:US$11.42/KG, 1.3% up
The chart below summarizes Lithium carbonate price trend per region, as well as the outlook. It takes a moment to load.

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Lithium carbonate price index

This post is a summary of the lithium carbonate price developments. The price developments of lithium carbonate are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Lithium carbonate price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for lithium carbonate prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of lithium carbonate prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of lithium carbonate
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of lithium carbonate prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the lithium carbonate market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Lithium carbonate price chart

 

What is Lithium Carbonate

Lithium carbonate is a lithium mineral compound with the chemical formula Li2CO3. It is a white or colorless crystalline solid that is soluble in water and has a slightly alkaline taste. As a mineral, lithium carbonate is found in a few rare lithium-bearing minerals, such as zabuyelite, but it is more commonly produced commercially by extracting lithium from minerals such as spodumene, petalite, or lepidolite. These minerals contain varying amounts of lithium, which is extracted through a series of chemical processes to produce lithium carbonate.

 

How is Lithium Carbonate produced

Lithium carbonate is primarily produced from lithium-containing minerals or brines through a series of chemical processes. The most common method involves extracting lithium from minerals such as spodumene or petalite, which are first crushed and then roasted to remove impurities. The resulting material is then mixed with chemicals such as soda ash and limestone, and subjected to a series of chemical reactions to produce lithium carbonate.

An alternative method of production involves extracting lithium from brines, which are naturally occurring saltwater solutions found in certain regions. The brine is pumped to the surface and treated with chemicals such as lime and soda ash to remove impurities. The resulting solution is then subjected to a series of chemical reactions to produce lithium carbonate.

After the production process, the lithium carbonate is typically purified and dried before being sold as a medication or used in other industrial applications, such as the production of ceramics, glass, and lubricants.

 

What is Lithium Carbonate used for

Lithium carbonate has several different uses, including:

Industrial applications

Lithium carbonate is used in the production of a variety of industrial products, including ceramics, glass, and lubricants.

Aluminum production

Lithium carbonate is used in the production of aluminum and aluminum alloys, where it acts as a grain refiner and helps improve the strength and durability of the metal.

Nuclear energy

Lithium carbonate is used as a component in some types of nuclear reactor fuel, where it acts as a neutron moderator and helps control the nuclear reaction.

Research

Lithium carbonate is sometimes used in scientific research as a tool for studying the brain and nervous system, as it has been shown to have neuroprotective effects and to affect various cellular processes in the brain

Treatment of depression and bipolar disorder

Lithium carbonate is a commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression or bipolar disorder, a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings

 

How big is the global Lithium Carbonate market

The global lithium carbonate market size was valued at around USD 1.5 billion in 2020, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% from 2021 to 2028. The demand for lithium carbonate is being driven by a variety of factors, including the increasing use of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, the growth of renewable energy technologies, and the expansion of the consumer electronics industry. In addition to its use in batteries, lithium carbonate is also used in various industrial applications, such as glass and ceramics production, and as a medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years as demand for lithium-ion batteries and other applications of lithium carbonate continue to increase.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Lithium carbonates are the world’s 1896th most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Lithium carbonates were Chile ($676M), Argentina ($127M), China ($60.4M), Belgium ($31.6M), and Netherlands ($31M).

In 2020, the top importers of Lithium carbonates were South Korea ($286M), China ($230M), Japan ($144M), United States ($75.8M), and Belgium ($63.4M).

 

Further information

 

 

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