The Global Lithium Chemicals Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% during the forecasting period (2022-2029).
Lithium is the first element of the alkalis in the periodic table, and nature is found like a mixture of isotopes. It is the lightest solid metal, with a soft texture, silvery-white appearance, and low melting point and reactivity. Lithium chemicals own a few significant properties such as high specific heat, huge temperature interval in the liquid state, low viscosity, high thermic conductivity, and very low density.
The lithium product is found in different metals such as carbonate, chloride, bromide, hydroxide, and butyl. The lithium chemicals cater to diverse industries such as aluminum production, lubrication, rubber & thermoplastic manufacturing, air treatment, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries.
The lithium chemicals market is driven by the increasing demand for Li-ion batteries in automotive applications. Wide application range of Li-products in diverse industries such as aluminum production, lubrication, rubber & thermoplastic manufacturing, air treatment, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries.
Increasing demand for Li-ion batteries in automotive applications
Growing concerns towards the environment and adopting sustainable energy sources have switched the consumer's preference from fuel-powered to electric vehicles, thus increasing the demand for portable equipment powered by Li-ion batteries at the notable rate likely to boost the market lithium chemicals in the forecast period. The main market builder for lithium chemicals is the growing demand for Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles, including battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hybrid electric vehicles. The government took various initiatives to encourage individuals and business fleets to buy electric vehicles by offering them an incentive to promote the agent of moving technology forwards and reduce emissions from internal combustion engines. Thus, the government's growing promotional investments by the government towards adopting electric vehicles are more likely to trigger the market's lithium chemicals in the forecast period.
For instance, in 2019, KORE power came up with a project about starting a Li-ion battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. The project aims to produce Mark 1 energy storage systems, thus increasing production of batteries in the U.S and across the world is attributed to augment market growth in the coming years.
Wide application range of lithium chemicals targeting diverse industries such as aluminum production, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, rubber& thermoplastic manufacturing industries, and others
Lithium chemicals hold many properties, thus responsible t0 building a market in diverse sectors of the market such as aluminum production, lubrication, rubber & thermoplastic manufacturing, air treatment, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, in aluminum smelting, lithium chemical products reduce fluorine emissions and lower power consumption. The lubricant industry acts as a constituent of grease to impart thickening properties. Chlorides of lithium are used as absorbents & desiccants in air treatment by regulating humidity. Carbonate lithium is used in the pottery industry and medicine as an antidepressant, and lithium is used to treat bipolar treatment coupled with other pharmaceutical applications. Thus these huge applications of lithium chemicals in diverse sectors are building huge opportunities for the market to proliferate in the forecast period.
Increasing the use of lithium chemicals in enamels and ceramics creates greater opportunities for the key players to build a better market in the coming years.
The increasing use of lithium and its compounds in ceramics and enamels is expected to build the forecast period's lithium chemical market. It's possible due to lithium chemicals' ability to reduce the glass's viscosity and melting temperature. Lithium minerals such as spodumene are used for most of the glass products starting from bottles to headlights, and in ceramics, they are used to produce glazes and porcelain enamels.
Apart from these, lithium carbonate is gaining popularity in crucial glass applications such as T.V. tubes and is also used for ceramics through petalite minerals as it is preferred over others. Thus growing demand for lithium chemicals in different market sectors is building opportunities for the product to proliferate. Companies like Albemarle and Stria lithium are currently building projects targeting lithium compounds in ceramic and enamel applications.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
The lithium chemicals market has shown a significant decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as several manufacturing plants were shut for months. Further several countries have restricted production activities during the covid-19 pandemic. The major lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak leads to suddenly dropping down consumers' interest towards purchasing any goods, and halt in transportation sectors has severely hampered the lithium chemicals market's business due to disruption in the product's supply chain management.
The growth of electric vehicle production between 2018-2019 was low compared to previous years due to the drop in overall demand for E.V.s. The coronavirus outbreak adds value to the decreasing graph of the E.V.s production and demand due to shutting down manufacturing plants and halt production. As a result of which the demand for batteries and eventually lithium chemicals has been severely impacted. However, the lithium chemicals market is expected to witness significant growth in the forecast period due to various ongoing expansions and companies' product launches.
The lithium chemicals market is segmented on type, grade, application, end-user, and region.
The building block of various lithium derivatives holds a broad spectrum of properties and is in great demand in a diverse set of applications.
The lithium chemicals market based on types is segmented into lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride, lithium bromide, lithium fluoride, etc. Out of the mentioned segments, lithium carbonate topped the ranking table based on type as it is the first lithium compound extracted from the brines and is the first compound to be used in the production unit. Apart from this, lithium carbonate is the building block of various lithium derivatives and is used in various applications such as aluminum production, glass & ceramics, Li-ion batteries, and pharmaceuticals.
The lithium carbonate holds three types of grades, including industrial-grade, battery grade, and others. Battery-grade accounts for the largest market share of lithium carbonate due to its expensive application in the automotive sector. Lithium carbonate is gaining market momentum for manufacturing batteries for electronic devices such as personal computers, phones, etc. Thus growing application range and a broad spectrum of properties offered by lithium carbonate is triggering its market demand at a significant rate compared to other segments.
For instance, in 2019, Pilbara Minerals joined a joint agreement with a South Korean steel manufacturing firm-POSCO. The collaboration aims to increase the production capacity of POSCO's lithium capacity. Pilbara Minerals is also planning to expand their mine to supply high lithium volume concentrates to POSCO, thus creating lithium carbonate opportunities to target a bigger market in South Kore compared to the pre-existing market.
The growing market of electric vehicles and expanding battery production units in Asia-Pacific are creating demand.
Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the lithium chemicals market due to massive economic expansions and flourishing electrics and electronic vehicle industries. Countries like China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea are the key market builder of the region and build the largest revenue for the lithium chemical industry. China is the leading producer of batteries in 70% of the lithium cell manufacturing capacity. High lithium reserves, expanding battery production, and growing manufacturing sectors for the end-user are adding lucrative opportunities for the market to grow in the forecast period.
Europe is in the second position in the leading regions of the lithium chemicals market. The significant growth of the region is due to the growing demand for electric vehicles in the region. Germany is expected to overtake China and the U.S. in electric vehicle production in the coming years. This increasing dominance of electric vehicles in the region is the prime factor accelerating lithium chemicals' growth in the region.
The lithium chemicals market is highly fragmented, with the presence of a few players. Some of the key players contributing to the market's growth include Albemarle Corporation, Galaxy Resources Limited, SQM S.A., SICHUAN BRIVO LITHIUM MATERIALS CO., LTD, Orocobre Limited Pty Ltd., Lithium Americas Corp, Neometals Ltd, Pilbara Minerals, Talison Lithium Pty Ltd, Millennial Lithium, Infinity Lithium Corporation Limited, SOVEMA GROUP S.p.A and among others.
The major players adopt several growth strategies such as product launches, acquisitions, and collaborations, contributing to lithium chemicals' growth. Many of the key players focusing on the lithium chemical favour collaboration and company expansion as the growth strategy to build revenue for their company.
Overview: The company Canadian-based mining company seeks to develop a lithium mine-the Whabouchi property in northern Quebec. It is a developing chemical company whose activities will be vertically integrated, from spodumene mining to high-grade lithium hydroxide commercialization. The company operates in the Whabouchi property, one of the richest lithium spodumene deposits in volume and grade.
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