Cathode Materials Market

In the ever-evolving landscape of energy transition, cathode materials play a pivotal role in driving a sustainable and inclusive future. As the demand for minerals surges, and geopolitical efforts focus on securing a stable supply, understanding the trends and growth drivers in the cathode materials market becomes crucial. ChemView Consulting unveils insightful perspectives on the cathode materials market, shedding light on its intricacies and implications.

What’s Inside a Lithium-Ion Battery?

1. Battery Composition Overview

  • A lithium-ion battery comprises an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors.
  • The anode and cathode store lithium, while the electrolyte facilitates the movement of lithium ions between them.
  • Understanding the battery’s components is essential to grasp the significance of cathode materials in energy storage.

The Cathode Market in 2022: A Tale of Two Halves

1. Cobalt Dynamics

2022 Overview

  • – Electric vehicles (EVs) solidified their position as the leading consumer of cobalt, constituting 40% of end-use demand.
  • EVs were responsible for 86% of annual demand growth, overshadowing traditional non-battery applications.
  • Cobalt demand increased by 13% year-on-year, reaching 187 kilotons.

Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) Chemistries

  • NCM chemistries emerged as the primary driver of cobalt demand, surpassing other end-use markets.
  • Lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) demand no longer dominated cobalt demand for battery applications.
  • Portable electronics industry shifts influenced this change, highlighting the adaptability of the cobalt market.

Supply Dynamics

  • Mined supply expanded at a faster rate in 2022 (21% year-on-year), approaching 200 kilotons.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) maintained its dominance as the major supplier with a 72% share.
  • Indonesia emerged as the second-largest producer, surpassing established producers like Australia and the Philippines.

Future Outlook

  • Cobalt is projected to remain crucial for the battery supply chain.
  • Multiple cell formulations, including NCM and lithium iron phosphate (LFP), will support major end-use sectors.
  • Demand for cobalt is forecasted to exceed 200 kilotons by 2030, driven by growth in the EV sector and recycling initiatives.

2. Lithium Dynamics

Global Lithium Supply Landscape

  • Major lithium producers include Australia (52%), Chile (25%), China (13%), and Argentina (6%).
  • China’s dominance is fueled by its control over processing technology, prompting other nations to export lithium for advanced processing.

China’s Rising Influence

  • Chinese investments in lithium projects globally indicate a strategic move to secure a consistent supply.
  • Instances include Chinese consortiums securing agreements with Bolivia for lithium carbonate facilities and investments in lithium mining projects in Argentina.

Sluggish Portable Electronics Demand Offset by Growth in EVs

  • The cathode market faced dynamic shifts in 2022, with disruptions caused by COVID-19 impacting supply and demand.
  • Challenges in the EV and consumer electronics sectors led to a setback in cobalt demand.
  • Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes gained traction in China, influencing market dynamics.

1. EV Market Highlights

Electric Vehicle Dominance

  • EVs emerged as the predominant consumer of cobalt and lithium, constituting 40% of the total demand.
  • Cobalt demand from the EV sector increased by 33% year-on-year, reaching 74 kilotons in 2022.
  • Global EV sales exceeded 3.8 million units in 2022, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) contributing significantly.

Market Outlook

  • Anticipated sales for electric cars in 2023 are 14 million units, reflecting a 35% year-on-year rise.
  • National policies and incentives are expected to boost sales, driving electric cars to comprise 18% of total sales for the year.
  • Major markets show promising outlooks for EV sales, with China remaining the largest market, followed by the United States and Europe.


As we navigate the complexities of the cathode materials market, ChemView Consulting provides distilled insights into the trends and growth drivers shaping its trajectory. From cobalt dynamics driven by EV demand to China’s strategic investments in lithium projects, the cathode materials market reflects a dynamic interplay of supply, demand, and global influences. Understanding these dynamics is paramount for stakeholders in the energy transition journey. The tale of cathode materials unfolds, revealing opportunities and challenges that pave the way for a sustainable and green future.

Follow Us On Our Social Media Pages 

Facebook and Linkedin