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Ford Unveils 3 Lithium Supply Deals For EV Push

Ford Motor Co has signed lithium supply deals with Albemarle, Nemaska Lithium, and EnergySource Minerals as the auto giant gears up to boost electric vehicle production to 2 million cars over the next two and half years. 

The deals, announced on Monday, will see Ford buy 13,000 tons per year of lithium hydroxide from Canadian Nemaska Lithium, 100,000 tons per year from top miner Albemarle, and 20,000 tons per year from California-based EnergySource Minerals.

Shares of Nemaska soared 6.25% in morning trading on Monday, Ford was up 0.86% and Albemarle gained on the news but then shed those gains later in the morning. EnergySource Minerals, whose California lithium mine will go online in 2025, remains privately held.  

Traders will also be keeping a close eye on a Capital Markets event being held by Ford later on Monday, according to the Detroit News

By the end of this year, Ford is targeting 600,000 EVs, though the auto giant anticipates it will lose $3 billion on EVs this year, and Wall Street has been skeptical about whether the carmaker could achieve its 2-million-unit production target. 

Later in the day, Ford will share updated financial targets with investors at an event in Detroit, where all eyes will be on the details of the auto giant's plans to boost its earnings margins across all departments to 10%, and to 8% in its EV segment by 2026. 

Ford has stuck to its full-year 2023 guidance of $9-$11 billion in adjusted earnings. 

The Ford deals come as lithium prices in China have crashed significantly, sliding from a record high of around $86,170 per tonne in November 2022 to a 13-month low of around $52,500 per tonne in March this year. That 40% correction put an end to lithium’s major rally. 

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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