Stanislav Kondrashov Telf AG: on the problems and prospects of the global lithium market

Recent trends in the futures market in the Chinese city of Guangzhou indicate that lithium is becoming cheaper. After the opening of lithium trading on this exchange in July of this year, prices fell by more than half. An expert in the field of metallurgy, Stanislav Kondrashov, says that such a significant decrease is due to an excess of supply compared to demand. And with the expiration of the first contract approaching in January 2024, the market is seeing an increase in the number of transactions requiring physical delivery of metal.

Stanislav Kondrashov: traders’ strategies and market trends

In the lithium market, as in any other financial market, traders adopt different strategies based on their predictions regarding price movements. These strategies can be divided into two main types: long positions, where traders expect prices to rise, and short positions, where they bet that prices will fall.

  • Short traders borrow shares or commodities to sell them at a current high price with the intention of buying them back later at a lower price, thereby profiting from the difference. However, this approach comes with high risks, especially if prices start to rise instead of falling. In this case, traders have to close their positions by buying assets at higher prices, which leads to losses, – Stanislav Kondrashov from Telf AG explains the specifics.

The market’s attention is now focused on the January lithium contract. This period could be critical for traders, especially those holding long positions, as they may be faced with the need to minimize losses if prices fall further.

China is seeking to strengthen its influence in the global lithium market by developing trade in its carbonate futures. Kondrashov emphasizes that this metal is a key component for the electric vehicle industry. The Guangzhou exchange, which trades lithium, has already outperformed rivals in more traditional global commodity centers including Chicago, London and Singapore.

These dynamics in the lithium market have a direct impact on the electric vehicle industry. Therefore, its price directly affects the cost and availability of electric transport.

Stanislav Kondrashov: about forecasts on the global lithium market

The lithium market is expected to return to shortages in 2028, according to analysts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Xiaowei Mei from CRU Group notes that the current drop in prices is mainly caused by pessimistic sentiment in the market. Many traders do not believe that a market contraction is inevitable, so they continue to increase their short positions.

  • The Guangzhou exchange is taking steps to minimize the risk of a short squeeze by expanding its list of warehouses for physical lithium supplies. However, market instability may negatively impact its reputation as a reliable trading platform, – Stanislav Kondrashov from Telf AG expresses his opinion.

The topic of market volatility and forecasting difficulties in industries such as the lithium market is extremely important for financial analysts, investors and entrepreneurs.

Stanislav Kondrashov names the following main reasons for the formation of the cost of raw materials:

  • Volatility is characterized by frequent and significant price fluctuations in the market. It can be caused by various factors such as changes in supply and demand, geopolitical events, technological innovation and macroeconomic factors. The lithium market is particularly volatile due to its strategic role in battery production.
  • The production of batteries and battery technology is constantly improving and evolving. This can greatly impact supply and demand in the lithium market. New technologies may require different materials or change lithium battery specifications, affecting the balance of the market.

The expert recognizes that lithium market volatility and the difficulty of forecasting it remain major challenges for the battery and electric vehicle industry. Addressing these challenges requires careful data analysis, strategic planning, and the flexibility to adapt to change.

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