Lithium Derivative Market Information: Analysis, Trends and Forecast

Published On: September 2017

Global Lithium Derivative Market:

Lithium is highly reactive, flammable as well as lightest alkali metal in the periodic table. It is extracted from natural sources including ores i.e. pegmatites which are spodumene containing lithium-silicon-aluminium and salt lake brines. After extraction they are processed in order to convert them into derivatives. Lithium derivatives are broadly classified into lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium concentrated, lithium chloride, lithium metal, butyl lithium, and others. Commercially, lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide are largely used in industrial manufacturing.

Market Overview:

Globally lithium derivative market was experiencing remarkable growth over the past five years; driven by emergence of electric vehicles. Specifically, Asia Pacific market set a potential growth by having the largest automotive base in this region. Lithium derivatives are highly used in batteries application such as lithium-ion that have massive capacity to store energy. This has made lithium derivative are favorable to be used in grid connected storage. Furthermore, the global market is witnessing massive shift of gasoline based vehicles to electric vehicles and it is projected to drive the global lithium derivatives market.

Lithium derivatives are largely used in primary and secondary batteries to power electronic devices, therefore emergence of electric vehicle is considered as the key driving factor of this market. Electric vehicles are highly adopted by customers (consumer & commercial) owing to the growing environmental concern to reduce pollution level and this has surged massive demand of lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, growing demand of consumer electronic devices including cell phones, laptop, new generation cameras and other high performance portable computing devices had boosted demand of lithium derivatives. Consumer electronic industry is on the rise due to economic development and it is likely to develop strong demand in the years to come. Growth of this market is also attributed to increasing glass and ceramic production, a result of increasing industrialization. Although, high initial cost of extracting raw lithium is posed as a major growth barrier. Lack of professional expertise engaged in extraction activities has been an emerging factor over the past few years that has also hampered growth of this global market to some extent. Global lithium derivative market is anticipated to provide several growth prospects over the forecasted period.  Ability of lithium-ions to store energy has led to its increasing applications in grid connected storage and it is likely to provide several growth opportunities.

Segmental Overview:

 As per MRFR’s analysis, global lithium derivatives market is divided on the basis of derivative type, application and region. Based on derivative type, the market has been divided into lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium concentrate, lithium metal, butyl lithium, lithium chloride, and others. Among all derivatives, lithium carbonate is the most prominent segment that is highly preferred in batteries application. On the basis of application, the market has been divided into batteries, lubricants, medicals, metallurgic, glass & ceramic, aluminium smelting & alloys, polymers and others. Lithium derivatives are largely used in batteries which is the most dominant segment driven by electric vehicles and consumer electronic portable devices.  

Regional Overview:

The global lithium derivatives market has been spanned across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is the most promising region and occupied major share of this global market till 2016. China is the most dynamic region and is driving the global growth of this market, by being the largest producer of lithium derivatives. Moreover, the country has massive automotive base which played a crucial role by being the largest lithium-ion batteries manufacturing country. India, Japan and South Korea are other important markets in this region which are undergoing economic development, thereby contributing in regional growth. Factors including, proximity to cheap labors and presence of large number of small scale lithium derivative producers are other growth driving factors of this market. North America is another dynamic region which has major players including Albemarle Corporation (U.S.) and FMC Corporation (U.S.). The region is anticipated to grow significantly with growing production capacity of these companies. Europe is expected to grow relatively faster in the years to come with increasing adoption of electric vehicles.

Key Players

The global lithium derivatives market consist of several players, but it is dominated by top 5 producers including FMC Corporation (US), Albemarle Corporation (U.S.), SQM (Chile), Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc. (China), and Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co.Ltd. (China). Global market had witnessed China has dominated over the past five years except above mentioned players.