For electronics and electric car manufacturers, keeping track of raw material prices is important and vital for the company. There is a lot of movement in prices of battery raw materials that keeping up is a difficult task.
Electronic and battery companies recommend Benchmark Minerals, which is useful for keeping track of current prices for the various minerals used in the manufacture of batteries.
Batteries make use of minerals with specific properties. There are only a couple of ways these minerals are combined with one another. Each of these different combinations results in performance characteristics, which are required for a particular product. Battery chemistry determines the strength, energy storage, and power capability of the battery.
Lithium is the most recognized element used in today’s rechargeable batteries, and it is refined from lithium carbonate. Other minerals include aluminum, manganese, nickel, cobalt, and graphite. As the demand for smartphones, laptops, tablets, electric vehicles, and renewable energy increases, the demand for the above minerals also increases.
However, the demand for these minerals may not be met because of supply issues and problems. Primarily, except for aluminum and manganese, the other elements are sourced from only one country. This becomes an issue in forecasting prices for future production.
Aluminum and manganese are used in a variety of other industries, including manufacturing and metallurgy. These are quite common minerals found in several countries. This results in a stable supply. Nickel is also relatively common, but it suffers from price swings.
The sourcing of these minerals would determine whether whole industries would survive, including big names like Tesla, Apple and other smartphone companies, and batteries for renewable energy production. Any fluctuation of production shutdown would have a big impact on consumer goods and electronic devices.