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China’s first exchange-traded lithium contract to launch today


China’s first exchange-traded lithium contract to launch today

Chinese mine
Photo: Gilles Sabrie/New York Times

China’s Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange has announced that trading for its new lithium contract will begin today.

Chinese increasing domestic car consumption—driven by economic growth—is exacerbating issues including serious urban air pollution, high greenhouse gas emissions, and a growing reliance on oil imports. To counteract these troubling trends, the Chinese government has imposed policies to encourage the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), artificially spiking market supply for EVs. Lithium is a key material for building these vehicles.

Beijing policymakers intend to impose a mandate on automakers calling for a scaling specified percentage of all vehicles sold by manufacturers each year to be battery-powered. Failure to meet the mandated requirements will result in financial penalties for car manufacturers. The CCP’s goal is to have EVs account for 40% of all car sales by 2030.

Given the huge Chinese market, even though few Chinese EVs have arrived in the West so far, they will likely begin arriving soon. In the medium-term, Chinese manufacturers in the EV supply chain are aggressively pushing to enter the international market, and as such, Chinese EVs will likely begin appearing in western countries in the near future.

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