2021 review: Battery metals have enchanted the market
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There’s simply no other way to put it. Battery metals are red hot now as the world continues to charge headlong towards electrification and zero carbon emissions.
Lithium prices have soared to record levels with Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) noting recently that average 6% lithium oxide spodumene concentrate pricing in the December 2021 quarter would be at the high end of its previous guidance of between US$1,650 and US$1,800 per dry metric tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) China.
This is further highlighted by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data from November noting that US$1,250/t is now the low point of recorded sales, well above the US$400/t mark where prices were at last year.
Nickel has also been cooking with prices continuing to trade close to the US$20,000/t mark while graphite prices are expected to stay elevated in 2022 due to a continued deficit in supplies.
Cobalt could extend its gains in 2022 after doubling in price this year.
This is all due to the faster than expected growth in demand for electric vehicles as the transition to clean energy continues.
Battery metal demand is also likely to climb further as more grid-scale energy storage developments are approved.
The lithium sector’s second age is nearly here; these ASX stocks could open a gap on the pack
The signs of lithium’s growth were apparent as early as May when Orocobre and Galaxy Resources came together in a $4bn merger to form the world’s fifth largest lithium chemicals company.
Readers were also drawn to the featured companies and their activities such as Core Lithium completing scoping level test work on samples from their Finniss project.
Build Your Own Portfolio – lithium: Experts say start with these 8 ASX stocks
Stockhead articles highlighting ASX stocks are certainly popular as this piece from February this year featuring eight export picks best demonstrates.
The article also highlighted how lithium stocks had turned the corner, noting that an initial $5000 investment in our list of lithium stocks in February 2020 would have quadrupled in value.
Bargain Barrel: 10 ASX lithium stocks with a sub-$15m market cap
Stockhead readers are clearly keen to find the next bargain as this somewhat more recent article from September about some of the cheaper lithium buys demonstrates.
Without going into too much detail, some of these companies have done pretty well for themselves since then, have a gander to find out more.
Expert View: Missed out on Tesla? ‘There are other opportunities’ to invest in battery technology
Taking a broader look at battery metals, Stockhead’s interview with TradingView executive Glenn Leese highlighted a number of opportunities in the tech space.
Notably, he pointed out long distance trucking and energy storage for mining companies as two areas worth considering.
Lesse also noted that companies that were not first movers could also succeed but required more due diligence.
The cobalt price is about to surge. So far, the market is missing it
In a little bit of successful crystal ball gazing, Stockhead noted first thing in January that the cobalt sector was starting to look a lot healthier.
Benchmark Minerals Intelligence had also forecast that the cobalt market would move into structural deficit as the EV sector ramped up.
All these have proven to be true though the deficit was not as severe as expected as companies pushed to increase production.