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EQM Indexes Battery Metals Commentary: May 18, 2020 Image

EQM Indexes Battery Metals Commentary: May 18, 2020

Author headshot Jane Edmondson / May 18

What is the outlook for battery metals in the post COVID-19 world?  New World Bank projections still anticipate exponential growth.  Seeing an uptick in demand in EV's against the backdrop of the crisis is cause for optimism.  EV demand in Europe is ramping up and it is recovering in China. With new models and rising demand, EV automakers are being asked to step up to bolster supply given miners are not willing or able to take that leap of faith on their own.  In a new normal where more people are working from home, range anxiety is much abated.  But regardless of battery technology, the electrification of transportation will play an important role in the future. Helping along that trend in the U.S., supply will move closer to the source, such as cobalt in Canada and lithium in Nevada.


Demand for battery metals to jump 500% by 2050
Production of battery metals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt will have to increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies.

Nickel, cobalt prices benefit as electric car action shifts to Europe

While electric car sales were crashing in China, the world's largest EV market by a country mile, customers were still busy kicking tires in Western Europe.

Lithium price: One in three cars sold in UK now electric
Battery metals producers can take some cold comfort from the fact that 32% of cars sold in the UK last month were electric, boosted by online sales of the Tesla Model 3. 

Carmakers Urged to Invest in Mines to Avoid Battery Metal Pinch
Mine developers scrambling to fund projects to meet forecast demand for battery metals see the threat of looming supply crunches as a trigger for electric-vehicle makers to step in with investments.

Nevada's 'Lithium Valley'
Much of the current lithium supply comes from outside the US. Tesla is believed to import much of the lithium it uses from Australia and South America. There are strong economic and environmental reasons to develop more domestic sources.

Tesla's zero-cobalt battery goes beyond price parity, it's a strike to gas cars jugular
Tesla is reportedly poised to start using batteries that it developed with China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) in the near future, with some reports speculating that the new cells could be rolled out to the Made-in-China Model 3 later this year. 

First Cobalt, Glencore to open North American cobalt supply plant
Canadian firm First Cobalt and miner Glencore plan to bring a new cobalt plant to North America, one that will supply the electric vehicle sector, the Financial Times reported.

Nickel investing comes with a heavy price
EV production and sales have fallen, but a pause in the shift from fossil fuel vehicles will not be enough to see off critical metals shortages. Nickel supplies are running short quickly.

About the Author

Author thumbnail Co-Founder of EQM Indexes LLC and Founder of EQM Capital LLC. Ms. Edmondson is a former Quantitative Portfolio Manager with Allianz Global Investors and its predecessor firm Nicholas-Applegate. She started her career at Merrill Lynch and has more than 25 years of experience in the investment industry. She holds an MBA in Finance from San Diego State University and a BA from UC Irvine.

During February lithium stocks showed mostly negative performance, led by Pilbara Minerals & Orocobre with a decrease of -12% and Galaxy Resources dropping -11% in comparison with the previous month.

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