Lithium OPEC: Viable or Volatile?

cc Oton Barros (DSR/OBT/INPE), Coordenação-Geral de Observação da Terra/INPE,, modified,,_on_a_CBERS4_MUX_yesterday%C2%B4s_image.jpg

In an effort to collectively boost their bargaining power, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, and Brazil are exploring the idea of forming an OPEC-like cartel for the lithium industry. The four states hold nearly 65% of the world’s lithium reserves, and the proposed group would mirror OPEC’s functions of coordinating production and pricing, while standardizing practices in a nascent and strategic market for the region.

However, bringing the idea to fruition is likely to spark opposition from the industry, as well as internal political opposition from environmentalists and indigenous groups that contributed to left-wing victories in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. Furthermore, additional obstacles include China’s monopolist position in the industry and the long-term political viability of such an idea.

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