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Chris Berry: No Let Up for Lithium Demand Going Forward

Chris discusses lithium and how this market appears to be doing quite poorly if you look at share prices. However, this is part of a longer cycle centered around mobility energy storage, and we are closer to the beginning than the end. He expects lithium to trade sideways until the end of next year.

A significant macroeconomic event could affect the battery metals but would depend on the severity. He points out that we are in the longest economic expansion in history, and every day, we keep seeing all-time highs in markets. There are 12 to 13 trillion dollars of negative-yielding debt in the world, and indicators appear to be weakening. If the economy is as healthy as the government claims, we should have higher bond yields.

A boom-bust cycle in rare-earth metals feels improbable. China could utilize their rare earth card, but it seems unlikely as they are almost a net importer of these metals. Also, end-users have become increasingly aware of potential substitutes.

He discusses his favorite authors and the forces of inflation and deflation interest him. He says, “Innovation is the force that drives the economy.”

A lot of productivity benefits are coming from battery technologies; however, this is not priced into growth forecasts. There is a lot of excitement, research, and innovation in the battery markets.

Time Stamp References:
0:40 – Current lithium market outlook.
5:00 – Sentiment in the space and global outlook.
10:00 – Geopolitical realities of the rare earth market.
13:30 – Favorite books related to economics.
17:40 – Energy metals outlook for the next 24 months.

Talking Points From This Weeks Episode
• Energy metals will trade sideways for the next 18 months.
• Production outlook for lithium carbonate.
• Why the macroeconomy will drive the micro.
• Monitor the U.S. ten year carefully.
• Currently, investors have little appetite for risk.

Chris has been an independent analyst since 2009 with a focus on Energy Metals including lithium, cobalt, graphite, vanadium, and rare earth. He is Founder and President at House Mountain Partners. His research provides strategic insights to institutional clients and has a specific focus on how disruptive trends in energy, strategic metals, and technology create opportunities. Before shifting focus to the analysis of these trends, Chris gained twelve years of capital markets experience on both the buy-side and sell-side.

He speaks at conferences in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Chris is frequently quoted in the press, including the Financial Times. Chris has additional experience as the co-founder of a start-up for investors which dealt with “computing with words.”

Chris holds a Master of Business Administration in finance with an international focus from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from The Virginia Military Institute.

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