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Albemarle warns of 'challenging' lithium market through next year

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Albemarle Corp, the world's largest lithium producer, warned on Thursday that prices for the battery metal are down more than 30 percent in the past year and that the industry has as much as three times more supply than needed.

"We are and will be dealing with the challenging market conditions for the next 12 to 18 months," Chief Executive Luke Kissam told investors on a conference call.

The company said late Wednesday it would launch a $100 million cost savings plan. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)