In January 2024, the price of lithium carbonate plummeted to about 95,500 Chinese yuan per tonne ($13,446), marking a three-year nadir. This represents an 80% decrease from the previous year, driven by a combination of slowing demand, overproduction, and increased mining activities. Such a significant drop in lithium prices will lead to reduced costs for electric vehicle manufacturers and lower expenses for producers of green technologies. For instance, prices of lithium-ion battery packs dropped by 14% to a record low of $139/kWh last year against $151/kWh in 2022.

Feeling The Stretch

Since the onset of 2024, rubber prices have risen around 2.88%. Futures soared beyond 160 USD cents per kilogram, reaching their peak since June 2022. This surge is largely attributed to ongoing supply concerns, exacerbated by adverse weather conditions in Asia’s key production regions. Rubber is essential for manufacturing tyres and various industrial products. The rising cost of rubber contributes to higher expenses for products made from this material, thereby squeezing the profit margins of related industries, including tyremakers.

Losing The Flavour

The year 2023 saw a concerning dip in tea price realisation trends compared with 2022. A World Bank report from 2023 highlighted an 11% decline in auction tea prices from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023. The downturn is linked to reduced demand in Central Asia, partly due to the conflict in Ukraine. Since the start of 2024, tea prices have fallen by 33.65%. An oversupply in global markets has triggered a steep decline in international tea prices, heavily impacting Indian exports.

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