Lithium Firms Take a Near Billion-Dollar Hit as Umicore Warns
Comment of the Day

April 24 2019

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Lithium Firms Take a Near Billion-Dollar Hit as Umicore Warns

This article by Aoyon Ashraf for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a sectio

The impact from a Belgian materials company’s profit warning has now spread from the European car market to the Western hemisphere.

The top three lithium producers lost almost a billion dollars in combined market-value after Umicore SA, a producer of metal products and catalysts used in vehicles, among other uses, warned that it will miss analysts’ profit estimates due to slowing demand for electric vehicles in China and South Korea.

Lithium giant Albemarle Corp.’s shares took the largest hit, down as much as 5.5 percent as it counts Umicore among its top three customers. Peer Livent Corp. declined 3.8 percent and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA’s ADRs tumbled as much as 3.6 percent. The combined loss at its worst reached nearly $900 million in New York trading.

Eoin Treacy's view

Lithium has been trending downwards for almost a year even as analysts have attempted to outdo one another on their demand growth forecasts. What the downtrend tells us is there is plenty of supply right now amid fears about the slowdown in the Chinese economy.

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