Orocobre forecasts higher lithium prices as market outlook brightens

Orocobre’s Olaroz operation. (Image courtesy of Orocobre).

Orocobre said on Friday it expects lithium prices to strengthen as demand recovers from the coronavirus-related weakness that hurt the lithium miner’s first-half profit.

The lithium and borax miner said net loss after tax widened to $29.1 million for the half-year ended Dec. 31, from $18.9 million last year.

“Our business was impacted in the September quarter by weak market conditions, however the market has improved since the start of the December quarter,” said Martín Pérez de Solay, chief executive officer.

The Argentina-focused miner said it has seen a rebound in lithium prices and volumes at its flagship Olaroz mine, and expects realised prices to grow over 50% to $5,500 a tonne in the second-half of the year.

The company said the lithium market would likely tighten in the June-half as Chinese supply remains restricted by weather conditions and limited feedstock availability.

Covid-19 restrictions were still expected to disrupt logistics in South America for a while and might cause some delays in shipping products, the Brisbane-based firm warned.

(By Arpit Nayak; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)


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