LONDON, November 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As the mining and investment world gathers in London this week for the Mines and Money conference, future trends in battery metals markets will doubtless be one of the major talking points. Europe's biggest mining and investment conference kicks off with a day-long Battery Metals Summit at which Roskill will be speaking. Ahead of the event, Roskill highlights some key metals used in batteries and recent trends in these markets. Visit us at Booth F27 from Tuesday 29 th November to learn more. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150909/264974LOGO ) Lithium continues to attract the most attention of all the battery metals. This is because demand continues to grow after more than a decade of strong performance. Lithium consumption increased from 64,000t LCE to just over 177,000t LCE in 2015, a cumulative annual growth rate of 7%. Despite a 9% drop as a result of the global financial crisis, consumption recovered strongly in 2010 and the market has since grown by around 10,000tpy LCE. Growth has, of course, been led by the Li-ion battery market, which accounted for 37% of total lithium consumption in 2015, a more than ten-fold increase from the amount consumed in 2000. Lithium prices have been surging since H2 2015, with a shortage of finished carbonate and hydroxide resulting from strong 2015 and 2016 demand growth but limited new supply and tighter control on Chinese mineral concentrate feedstock availability. Short-term contract prices for lithium carbonate and hydroxide ex- China began rising in H1 2016, following the strong upward trend in Chinese spot prices that began the previous year. Indications from 2017 contract negotiations suggest that average contract prices for carbonate will average over US$10,000 and hydroxide potentially over US$15,000. With marginal costs slightly above 50% of prices, the incentive for additional capacity and supply has increased dramatically in 2016 with opportunities for incumbent producers and project developers alike. Demand growth is likely to continue at a high, and increasing, rate, which is arguably the bigger incentive for additional supply. Cobalt also continues to attract considerable interest from investors and other market participants alike. Rechargeable batteries provide the largest, and the fastest growing, market for cobalt. The use of cobalt oxide, sulphate and powder, in rechargeable battery cathode materials now accounts for over 45% of consumption. This strong demand is expected to continue. To 2025, Roskill anticipates demand for cobalt to grow at roughly 5%py with demand for cobalt in Li-ion battery applications expected to increase at nearly 7%py. Last year saw cobalt prices fall quarter-on-quarter. Prices fell even further in Q1 2016. At US$10.83/lb, the average cobalt price for the quarter was at its lowest level in almost 4 years. Nonetheless, Q2 and Q3 2016 brought about a small recovery in prices and today prices are trending between US$13/lb and US$14/lb. Temporary shutdowns at key mines and the closure of some refined metal capacity have helped support the price and mean that there will be a small cobalt metal deficit in 2017. This tight market is expected to support prices next year. For the time being there is sufficient capacity for cobalt chemicals mainly consumed in batteries - and some of the major players have expansions underway. However, significant capacity expansions will continue to be required if supply is to keep pace with demand. Failure to do this will likely see currently high metal stocks and inventories drawn down and converted to oxide and sulphate in the short term but could mean price increases over the longer term.