The decade ahead will bring massive structural shifts as economies around the world transition away from fossil fuels. These changes have already given rise to new strategic commodities, such as rare earth minerals, cobalt, and lithium to name a few. The extent to which global economies are willing to clash over these strategic commodities in order to secure reliable supply chains remains to be seen, and will largely be a function of the global trade system going forward. However, the fact remains that supply chain security is a matter that no policymaker will have the luxury of ignoring.

This article examines factors impacting lithium supply over the next decade.



How lithium is bought and sold

Lithium is a commodity that is difficult to price properly. Part of the reason is its diverse concentrations; however, the fact that lithium doesn’t have a futures market also complicates matters, as there remains no central frame of reference for market players to refer to when setting their price expectations.