Battery-Metals Fever Calmed as Surging Supply Swamps Market

Oct. 15, 2018, 4:03 PM

The red-hot battery-metals market of the past two years has cooled as miners extract more cobalt and lithium than automakers need.

That has dented exuberance among investors attending the metals industry’s biggest annual bash in London this week—even if most still believe that surging electric-vehicle sales will create a longer term bonanza.

Jeremy Weir
Photographer: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg

With lithium producers preparing to dial up production, prices have dropped almost 12 percent since May, according to researcher Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. After tripling during 2016 and 2017, cobalt prices quoted by Metal Bulletin have fallen 5.7 percent this year as output surged in the Democratic Republic ...

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