Joe Lowry Talks Lithium Supply, Demand And Market Fundamentals

After more than two decades working for one of the "Big 3" lithium companies in senior positions in the US, Japan and China, Mr. Joe Lowry, also known as Mr. Lithium, formed Global Lithium LLC — an advisory firm that works with lithium producers, users, investors, hedge funds and governments on four continents. Mr. Lowry has an extensive network of contacts with lithium suppliers and users. Considered one of the world's leading experts in lithium supply and markets, his recent articles on the lithium market can be found on his LinkedIn page:

Joe Lowry's Twitter: @globallithium
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The following interview was conducted by phone and email in the week ended June 20, 2015. The interviewer, Peter Epstein, CFA, MBA, of has no prior or existing relationship with any company listed herein. Peter Epstein has no prior or existing relationship with Joe Lowry or any of his business activities. He thanks "Mr. Lithium" for his time as he has a very busy schedule.

PE: Please provide readers with an overview of the supply side of the lithium market, including where we are in the cycle.

JL: We should be in a period of significant investment, bringing large capacity additions; however several factors have conspired to limit investment. They include: the political situation in Argentina and Chile, slower than anticipated development of the EV market, uncertainty caused by the delay in start-up of Rockwood's expansion in Chile and a slow start-up by Orocobre, the failure and ultimate bankruptcy of Canada Lithium/RB Energy, etc. The lithium market has entered a shortage period that will last at least a year and possibly longer depending on how the Rockwood expansion and Orocobre ramp-up play out.