Australian lithium miners dive as costs dip in December ore public sale

SYDNEY РShares of Australian lithium miners slumped on Thursday after heavyweight Pilbara Minerals  reported a month-on-month fall in costs for its common public sale of lithium spodumene focus.

Pilbara Minerals led declines, down 11.4%, whereas rival battery metallic producers Liontown Assets and Core Lithium dropped 7.9% and 9.4%, respectively

Traders took flight as Pilbara Minerals mentioned earlier than the bell on Thursday that its common month-to-month public sale value in December stood at $7 552 per dry metric tonne (dmt), down from $7 805 a month earlier.

The miner offered two cargoes by way of its digital Battery Materials Trade with a mixed complete of 10 000 dmt, versus a single cargo of 5 000 dmt in November.

Lithium shares together with Pilbara Minerals have rallied since late 2020, buoyed by warnings that there was lack of lithium to satisfy the worldwide rush for putting in batteries and placing electrical automobiles on roads.

Costs for spodumene focus have risen greater than 5 instances since late 2020, in keeping with information from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence.

However softening chemical costs in China, a dip in lithium futures on the Wuxi Stainless Metal Trade and worries a 2023 recession might weigh on electrical automobiles’ gross sales are weighing on lithium shares, mentioned an analyst who requested to not be named.

Brokers are cooling on the sector, with Goldman Sachs reducing value estimates for lithium batteries by 10% in November.

Initiating protection on Thursday, Morgans gave Pilbara Minerals a “maintain” ranking, saying the sector’s volatility outweighed any upside within the inventory.

“We predict growing macroeconomic headwinds and dedicated manufacturing progress make this [bullish scenarios] much less doubtless.”

Pilbara Minerals mentioned the cargoes can be delivered from late January 2023.

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