The New Commodity Superpowers

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Aug 15, 2023 | La Revista de Prensa

The speed at which battery technologies are evolving, and their ingredients changing, could undercut efforts at cartelisation. As the world moves from an energy system built on fossil fuels to one powered by electricity and renewables, global demand for materials such as copper, cobalt, nickel and lithium is transforming the fortunes of the countries that produce them. The poster child for harnessing value from materials is Indonesia, which produces nearly half of the world’s nickel, a key ingredient in electric car batteries, note Ciara Nugent, Harry Dempsey, Leslie Hook in this publication by La Revista de Prensa. Unlike oil, which is very hard to replace as a fuel source, battery metals have a much higher risk of substitution. The laboratories developing new battery chemistries are constantly evolving their formulas to use less of the metals that are expensive or hard to acquire. In a cautionary tale of how quickly the demand outlook can change, the use of cobalt-free batteries in China has surged from 18 per cent of the EV market in 2020, to 60 per cent this year,

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