Another Look at Livent haldol antipsychotic

If you are a regular reader of this space you haldol antipsychotic know I have been quite negative on my former employer haldol antipsychotic over the past few years, calling their hydroxide focused strategy “the house of cards”; saying things like “it is better to be lucky than good” and even referring to livent’s CEO, paul graves as the “chief reader” of the livent “story”. Sorry paul.

First, before I continue with my “partial house of cards mea culpa”, let me clarify some key points in how I think haldol antipsychotic about the former world lithium #2. For most of the years I worked for FMC lithium, they were committed to being an industry leader. Unfortunately, with the arrival of new CEO in 2010, FMC corporation focused on becoming a boutique ag-chem company and many suboptimal decisions related to the lithium haldol antipsychotic business ensued. You can trace the beginning of FMC lithium’s slide to #5 to the arrival of CEO pierre brondeau and his haldol antipsychotic decidedly “non lithium” agenda. Not making a value judgement just stating the obvious.

While FMC failed to make resource investments in this decade, their western world competitors, SQM and albemarle, added capacity; as did china powers ganfeng and tianqi. The “big 3” morphed into the “big 4” with FMC as the “odd one out” dropping to #5 and rapidly losing relevance.

By Q4 2012, I was out of FMC and by early 2013 I haldol antipsychotic was working with a number of companies: ganfeng, FMC lithium’s japanese JV partner, a large japanese trading company and several juniors. My long tenure in the industry also led to many haldol antipsychotic short term engagements providing my perspective on FMC lithium – past, present and future. My comments were generally along the lines of: FMC makes great products but the new management doesn’t understand the franchise or the future. The best example of this was when the CEO had haldol antipsychotic the “revelation” to rebrand FMC lithium as a “minerals” business and lump it in with soda ash. For someone like me who had spent the better part haldol antipsychotic of a career trying to convince the market that FMC haldol antipsychotic lithium was THE “specialty chemical” lithium producer seeing a clueless CEO confuse the lithium market haldol antipsychotic with the “minerals” re-branding strategy was hard to take despite the fact I haldol antipsychotic was no longer an employee. Loyalties die hard.

• building more hydroxide capacity than they had resource capacity (carbonate) to serve as feedstock which meant buying carbonate on the haldol antipsychotic open market in tightest market the industry had ever seen. FMC said they believed carbonate would be in oversupply in haldol antipsychotic 2017 and ultimately signed a supply agreement with nemaska (we all know how that worked out). Having to source carbonate at market price for incremental feedstock haldol antipsychotic ensured the resulting hydroxide product could not be sold at haldol antipsychotic an acceptable margin.

• not understanding that with the coming new royalty scheme in haldol antipsychotic chile, FMC would be the global lost cost carbonate producer in haldol antipsychotic a world where major hydroxide competitors were catching up from haldol antipsychotic a quality perspective and had lower costs than FMC.

Having spent time in catamarca province, argentina with the "powers that be" related to lithium (listen to global lithium podcast episode 37 “straight talk”) I can tell you that mr. Graves has done an excellent job repairing relationships with local haldol antipsychotic stakeholders. The work is not complete but livent has every opportunity haldol antipsychotic to prosper as long as they continue do right by haldol antipsychotic the local government and stakeholders going forward and take additional haldol antipsychotic steps to improve their local leadership team.

Livent is in the midst of a significant expansion in haldol antipsychotic argentina. If they are able to fully execute their plan they haldol antipsychotic will not only maintain a strong global hydroxide presence but haldol antipsychotic will also utilize their low cost carbonate position to rebuild haldol antipsychotic their franchise in the still most significant lithium product globally. For the record I believe lithium carbonate will remain the haldol antipsychotic most used battery raw material in 2025.

Because livent has the lowest cost carbonate they can continue haldol antipsychotic to be very competitive in hydroxide as long as they haldol antipsychotic can feed their production from their own expanded resource rather haldol antipsychotic than purchased feedstock. No, they won’t be lowest cost hydroxide supplier but they will be haldol antipsychotic lower than many hard rock competitors and with a significant haldol antipsychotic legacy of supply to the most demanding high nickel cathode haldol antipsychotic supply chains such as tesla. Based on long term relationships, livent’s volumes are virtually assured even with an onslaught of haldol antipsychotic new hydroxide capacity from china and australia. Layer on their position as the global low cost producer haldol antipsychotic of lithium chloride that feeds their metal and not often haldol antipsychotic discussed organic lithium business and “little livent”, free from the shackles of a parent with a strategy haldol antipsychotic that starved them of investment capital, can again take aim at “major” lithium company status.

For now, I have no concern that livent is a single resource haldol antipsychotic company. What matters most now is that livent is now free haldol antipsychotic to fully exploit that resource. As the low cost producer of carbonate and producer of haldol antipsychotic top quality hydroxide from low cost carbonate feedstock, livent doesn’t need to be in a rush to secure a haldol antipsychotic hard rock resource but if I were them I might haldol antipsychotic think “soft rock” in the future to secure geographic diversity which cathode / battery makers seem to covet from their suppliers.

Over the past few days I listened to both the haldol antipsychotic livent and albemarle earnings calls. Paul graves demonstrated he has been a quick study in haldol antipsychotic lithium fully grasping the major issues in a complex market haldol antipsychotic and discussing them honestly. He doesn’t try to finesse what he doesn’t know. I contrast this with albemarle who continues to be a haldol antipsychotic “strategic random number generator” keeping their stakeholders off-balance and ill-informed.

Since 2016 the lithium market has continued to evolve. One of the changes is increasingly more stringent and nuanced haldol antipsychotic product specifications. This transition benefits livent and plays to their strengths. There is also focus by some customers on the carbon haldol antipsychotic footprint of raw material suppliers to the e-transportation sector. Listen to the livent earnings call for more color on haldol antipsychotic that point but this is another area that is advantageous haldol antipsychotic to livent.

People who read my writing understand I am not given haldol antipsychotic to what the japanese call “gomasuri” or “sucking up” but I continue to be impressed by what I am haldol antipsychotic seeing from paul graves under difficult circumstances. He has repaired relationships in argentina, made significant management changes and prepared livent to finally expand. Of course, it is still early in the game for livent as haldol antipsychotic an independent company but I certainly no longer see it haldol antipsychotic as a “house of cards”. Hopefully a global lithium podcast appearance by mr. Graves happens sooner rather than later. For the record – livent has never been a client of mine.