The market for lithium and cobalt has surged to as much as $10 billion from about $4 billion two years ago. Analysts project the figure could double again by 2025.
Some analysts argue that the unreliable pricing could benefit the biggest players in commodities, such as Swiss trading giant Glencore; the world’s largest cobalt supplier, and global chemical heavyweights Chilean Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A.; and U.S.-based FMC Corp. The firms have existing relationships with refiners and battery makers concentrated in China, the industry’s dominant player. Gaining exposure to producers is currently the easiest way for smaller investors to play battery metals.
For instance, LIT includes FMC 18.2%, Albermarle Corp 15.3%, Quimica Y Minera Chile 7.2% and Tesla 5.6% among its top holdings. BATT’s top holdings include Albemarle Corp 3.5%, Sociedad Quimica Minera Chile 3.4% and Glencore 3.1%.
For more information on the materials space, visit our basic materials category.