NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / January 17, 2017 / Lithium has been labeled the "new gasoline" by Goldman Sachs. Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada is forecasted to produce enough lithium ion batteries to power 500,000 electric cars per year by 2020. Lux Research believes the electric vehicle market to grow to $10 billion within the next four years, while Navigant Research forecasts sales of electric vehicles to increase from 2.6 million in 2015 to over 6.0 million in 2024.
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Additionally, Macquarie Research has estimated demand for lithium had exceeded supply in 2015 and expects that trend to continue through 2016. The brokerage firm mentioned, lithium supply is very concentrated with four major producers accounted for almost 90 percent of mine output in 2015. According to Macquarie, demand for lithium is expected to exceed supply by 2021.
Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB)
Albemarle's shares gained 0.27 percent to close at $94.00 a share Friday. The stock traded between $93.34 and $94.94 on volume of 603,367 shares traded. Shares of Albemarle gained approximately 53.7 percent in 2016 and are up roughly 9.2 percent so far this year. On January 4th, the company announced that it has received final approval to expand its lithium operation in Chile. "The amended agreement provides Albemarle with sufficient lithium to produce over 80,000 MT annually of technical and battery grade lithium salts over the next 27 years at its expanding battery grade manufacturing facilities in La Negra, Antofagasta," Albemarle wrote in the news release.
On January 3rd, Albemarle announced that it had completed the acquisition of the Jiangxi Jiangli New Materials Science and Technology Co. Ltd. lithium business for approximately $145 million.
"This acquisition, which combines Jiangli New Material's manufacturing excellence and Albemarle's leading resource position, will accelerate Albemarle's ability to meet our lithium growth plan," said David Klanecky, vice president of Albemarle's Lithium Division. "The facilities in both Jiangxi and Sichuan are strategically located in high growth regions and will enable us to enhance customer service and deliver exceptional product diversity across end markets, geographies and technologies, particularly in Asia Pacific."
FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC)
FMC's shares declined 0.05 percent to close at $59.27 a share Friday. The stock traded between $59.10 and $59.55 on volume of 747,783 shares traded. Shares of FMC gained approximately 44.5 percent in 2016 and are up roughly 4.8 percent so far this year. The company is scheduled to release earnings for the fourth quarter 2016 on Monday, February 6, 2017, after market close. FMC Lithium reported segment revenue of $70 million in the third quarter of 2016, an increase of 22 percent from the third quarter of 2015.
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