Lithium Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Lithium Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Carbonate, Hydroxide), By Application (Automotive, Consumer Goods, Grid Storage, Glass & Ceramics), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: May, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-581-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 120

Report Overview

The global lithium market size was valued at USD 4.23 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.9% from 2020 to 2027. Increasing demand for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in various applications, especially the automotive industry, is expected to augment market growth over the forecast period.

U.S. lithium market size

Li-ion batteries are extensively used in vehicles, consumer goods, and grid storage. As of 2019, there are over 3 million electric vehicles (EVs), 8 billion smartphones, and several storage capacities witnessing rapid growth on an annual basis, which is eventually expected to propel the battery demand over the forecast period.

The U.S. is a major country in the global lithium market and growing government initiatives towards battery and car manufacturing in the country are anticipated to propel the product demand in the country. For example, in October 2019, KORE Power announced its plan about starting a Li-ion battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. for producing Mark 1 Energy Storage Systems. Increasing production of batteries in the U.S. and worldwide is expected to augment market growth in coming years.

Battery is the key application of lithium and it is further used in various end-use industries. The advantages of lithium such as lightweight and strong electrochemical potential over other counterparts have propelled manufacturers worldwide to increase the global production capacity of Li-ion batteries. The planned production capacity of key Li-ion battery producers of the world, such as Tesla, CATL, Panasonic, BYD, and LG Chem, is expected to be 465 GW by the end of 2020. Moreover, for 2023, the planned capacity of Li-ion battery has surpassed 1,000 GWh and the production in the pipeline is sufficient for 21 million EVs per year.

Growing demand for lithium can be obstructed in 2020 amidst the pandemic COVID-19. The year-on-year growth from 2018-2019 was low for EV production as compared to the previous years. In addition, the spread of coronavirus has led to shutting down of manufacturing plants and has halted production. As a result, demand for batteries and eventually lithium has been impacted. However, the market for lithium is expected to uphold and turn out strong by witnessing significant growth by the end of the forecast period. 

Application Insights

Automotive was the largest segment with a revenue share of 40.8% in 2019 and is expected to maintain its lead over the forecast period on account of rapid growth in the EV production. According to Albemarle, the largest lithium producer in the world, the lithium demand is anticipated to increase by 599% from 2019 to 2025 in the EV market. Demand for lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in EV applications was 59 kilotons in 2018 and 93 kilotons in 2019, a growth of around 57% in one year. The LCE consumption is expected to reach 650 kilotons by 2025, considering rapid growth in EV production, thus registering a growth rate of 599%. 

Grid storage is anticipated to register the fastest CAGR of 2.1% in terms of revenue over the forecast period. Rising emphasis on clean energy is propelling the investments in the energy storage sector, which is expected to grow rapidly and reach beyond 158 GWh by 2024. The energy storage sector invites massive investments, however, the usage of li-ion batteries is helping in cost reduction, which is the key factor boosting the growth of the grid storage segment.

The clean energy sector has generated investments of over USD 300 billion from 2015 to 2019. Key investors and venture capitalists have shown keen interest and have significantly invested in energy storage. For instance, Sonnen raised a sum of USD 169 million for investing in the battery sector, Vionx Energy raised USD 193 million for flow batteries, and Malta raised USD 26 million for long-duration batteries. Increasing investments in the grid storage are expected to fuel the demand for Li-ion batteries over the forecast period.

Product Insights

Carbonate accounted for the largest volume share of 60.0% in 2019. Lithium is present in nature in the form of compounds and constituent of salts owing to its highly reactive characteristic, which results in formation of several lithium compounds, such as carbonate, hydroxide, and chloride. Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is the most stable compound and is capable of forming other compounds, such as lithium hydroxide (LiOH) and pure lithium.

Global lithium market share

LiOH is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period considering the ease of processing it provides in battery applications. However, it accounts for a small share when compared to Li2CO3 owing to its high cost of production. But, its preference in battery applications is inviting the investors to further invest in the product.

Increasing preference for LiOH over Li2CO3 is compelling manufacturers to expand LiOH production. For instance, in March 2019, Albemarle began construction of Kemerton LiOH plant worth USD 709.4 million in Western Australia. Once the plant is operational, its production capacity is expected to be up to 1,000 ton premium battery-grade LiOH per year. The plant is expected to bring over 1,000 jobs in the region. Increasing production of lithium compounds indicates its growing demand in the world.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific was the largest regional market in 2019 with a revenue share of 60.3% and is anticipated to maintain its lead over the forecast period. The region dominates the market in terms of lithium reserves, battery production, and growth in the manufacturing sector of the end-use industries, including automotive and electronics. Australia is the major supplier for the market as it has majority of hard rock (spodumene). Lithium can also be sourced through brines that are present in South America, however, the brine projects can take around 7 years to go into production.

China is the key battery manufacturer in the world and hence, it accounted for a volume share of 40.0% in 2019 in the Asia Pacific market. At the beginning of 2019, China accounted for a share of over 70% of global lithium cell manufacturing capacity. The country is expected to dominate the battery market in the coming years owing to presence of cheap labor, key manufacturers, and lithium reserves. In 2018, the country produced over 8 kilotons of lithium, ranking third in the global market and its reserves are nearly 30 times that of the U.S., as of 2018. Increasing battery production in the country, coupled with growing demand from consumer electronics, grid storage, and automotive industries, is expected to augment growth during the forecast period.

Europe was the second largest regional market in 2019. The growth of the market can be attributed to increasing production of EVs in the region. For instance, Germany, which is the key country in the region, is expected to surpass China and the U.S. in terms of EV production. The global EV production share of the country is expected to rise from 18% in 2019 to 29% by 2024, which shall make it the world leader. This is expected to have a positive influence on the demand for lithium in Europe.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is consolidated with production concentrated in the hands of a few key manufacturers. Capacity expansion and acquisitions are the key strategic initiatives adopted by the players in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. For instance, in November 2018, Albemarle agreed to pay a sum of USD 1.15 billion for forming a joint venture with Mineral Resources. The joint venture will produce LiOH in Western Australia. Some of the prominent players in the lithium market include:

  • Albemarle

  • FMC Corporation

  • SQM

  • Tianqi Lithium

  • Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd.

  • General Lithium Corp


  • LSC Lithium Corporation

  • Neo Lithium Corporation

  • U.S. Lithium Corp

  • Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos

Lithium Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 3.39 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 4.93 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 1.9% from 2020 to 2027

Market demand in 2020

299.1 kilotons

Volume forecast in 2027

395.8 kilotons

Growth Rate

CAGR of 3.8% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Volume and revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; France; China; Japan; South Korea

Key companies profiled

Albemarle; FMC Corporation; SQM; Tianqi Lithium; Ganfeng Lithium Co.,Ltd.; General Lithium Corp; LITHIUM EXPLORATION GROUP; LSC Lithium Corporation; Neo Lithium Corporation; U.S. Lithium Corp; Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos;

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global lithium market report on the basis of product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Carbonate

    • Hydroxide

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Automotive

    • Consumer Goods

    • Grid Storage

    • Glass & Ceramics

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

    • Middle East & Africa

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