Are You a 'Lithium Skeptic'?

We have gone electric, and there is no going back at this point. Lithium is our new fuel, but like fossil fuels, the reserves we are currently tapping into are finite—and that is what investors can take to the bank.

You may think lithium got too popular too fast. You may suspect electric vehicles are too much buzz and not enough real future. You may, in short, be a lithium skeptic, one of many. Yet, despite this skepticism, lithium demand is rising steadily and sharply, and indications that a shortage may be looming are very real.

Saudi Arabia Plays a Balancing Act

It's possible that OPEC is crying wolf with hints of an output freeze next month in Algiers; but it's also possible that they are ramping up production to take the sting out of a freeze. This is a delicate balancing act that the Saudis need to play very carefully.

The official chatter is that the OPEC meeting in Algeria from September 26 to 28 could conclude with an agreement to freeze production by the member nations, with even Russia joining forces in a freeze that may prevent further oil price erosion.

Vietnam's Ambitious Clean and Green Goals

In recent decades, Vietnam’s demand for energy has increased along with its rapid economic development. This surge in demand could provide the impetus to develop Vietnam’s emerging renewable energy industry.

A New OPEC Meeting May Give Oil New Life

This Great Graphic from Bloomberg shows the September light sweet crude oil futures contract since peaking in early June near $52.75.  It reached a low last week of about $39.20. 

The turn last week came on news that although oil inventories rose gasoline inventories fell dramatically.  The recovery seemed to have stalled at the end of last week near $42.40 but it was given a new lease on life by reports of an OPEC meeting next week.  OPEC President Al-Sada (Qatar) seemed to try to make the most of the informal meeting.  

Conditions now Could Set Up Higher Oil Prices Later

Another oil price downturn threatens to deepen the plunging levels of investment in upstream oil and gas production, which could create a more acute price spike in the years ahead.

Oil and gas companies have gutted their capex budgets, necessary moves as drillers went deep into the red following the crash in oil prices. However, the sharp cutback in investment means that huge volumes of oil that would have otherwise come online in five or ten years now will remain on the sidelines.

September Oil is Losing a Technical Battle

Today's 2.5% fall in the September light sweet crude oil futures contract extends the decline that began on June 9.  It is the third consecutive loss and the fifth loss in the past six sessions.  There are two important points to make that this Great Graphic from Bloomberg helps illustrates.

Could there have been Oil and Dinosaurs?

What killed the dinosaurs? It's a question as old as – well the dinosaurs themselves, and one that everyone from schoolchildren to scientists have been asking for decades. Movies like Jurassic Park and the Land Before Time only heighten that sense of wonder and raise the stakes behind that question. Now according to a new scientific study, it seems that black gold may have been the source of the dinos' demise. 

Lithium's Run is Likely not Over

So far, lithium has been the hottest metal of 2016, beating out gold, with exponential demand expected over the coming years. Although the price trajectory of the metal has been subdued in recent months, the fundamentals behind the long-term trajectory suggest strong potential for long-term growth.

Price doubling from 2014/2015 was first seen in China and is now being felt worldwide, with lithium hydroxide prices from $16-20 and carbonate prices from $12-14 thousand USD per ton.

Automotive Thrust