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Lithium 2012 Market Outlook

With international trade related indicators, such as export orders and container shipping rates pointing towards weaker global trade growth, the lithium market may face some challenges in the near term for 2012. Global downside risks stemming from the Eurozone are linked to further sovereign debt default and associated contagion issues. Fiscal policy in the United States is likely to command headline news and dominate economic developments during the next 24 month period, as forecast by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

These macro challenges are important in the lithium market, as they can affect consumer sentiment and retail behavior with battery manufacturers, construction, pharmaceutical and ceramic industries possibly reducing future contracts for lithium producers. There is some data to suggest demand for notebook computers declined last month and the initial production downsizing is taking effect, with the price drop of lithium battery cells decreasing 1.5 percent. Patrick Wang, an analyst at Evercore Partners suggested the first quarter guidance for most companies manufacturing personal computing devices will be negative.
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