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A worker processes nickel at a nickel smelter.   © Reuters
Market Spotlight

EV battery material suppliers brace for gluts as competition heats up

Lithium, nickel producers expand as U.S. pushes for non-Chinese supplies

RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writer | China

TOKYO -- The competition to produce raw materials for electric vehicle batteries is taking a potentially dangerous turn as suppliers pursue expensive expansion efforts amid softening markets for critical commodities such as lithium and nickel.

Lithium and nickel miners are taking on additional costs to produce more refined products. Tsingshan Holding Group, the Chinese metals giant, has reportedly begun talks with several copper plants to shift their focus to making refined nickel. And new lithium supplies are coming from countries including Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

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