Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS): Lithium Auction Shows ‘Strong Interest’ Despite Dip
Lithium producer Pilbara Minerals [ASX:PLS] released the latest results from its BMX lithium auction, securing an implied price of US$6,841/dmt for its spodumene concentrate.
The digital auction was held via Pilbara’s Battery Material Exchange (BMX).
While the producer has been able to capitalise on a strong lithium market, the stock hasn’t been able to avoid the wider correction in the sector.
Year-to-date, PLS shares are down more than 20%.
Pilbara’s latest BMX auction
PLS conducted another spodumene concentrate auction held via its digital BMX platform.
PLS was offering cargo of 5,000dmt at a target grade of ~5.5% lithia, with delivery expected from August 2022.
Pilbara said it received ‘strong interest in both participation and bidding by a broad range of qualified buyers’.
Pilbara received 41 bids during a 30-minute auction window.
The lithium producer said it will accept the highest bid of US$6,188/dmt (SC5.5, FOB Port Hedland basis).
On a pro rata basis for lithia content, this roughly equates to a price of US$6,841/dmt (SC6.0, CIF China basis).
5,000dmt at the targeted 5.5% lithia grading cargo has been scheduled for delivery by the end of August.
Pilbara indicated that it has every intention to accept this offer, in which case the bidder will then have 48 hours to complete their sales contract.
PLS will receive a 10% deposit and expects a letter of credit actionable by late July to seal the deal.
Pilbara’s latest auction sees modest price drop
In Pilbara’s previous BMX auction, the winning bid for Pilbara’s spodumene concentrate was more than US$7,000dmt.
Meaning this week’s auction’s bid came in about 2.5% lower.
Is this just short-term volatility or an indication of a faltering lithium price?
If lithium prices are levelling off, Pilbara can still offset this with rising production volume.
In June, PLS announced that FY22 annualised production is expected to be in the range of 373,000 to 377,000dmt, a 33% increase on FY21.
Now, 2021 was definitely the lithium sector’s year.
Eight of the top 10 best-performing stocks on the All Ords were lithium stocks.
But — as is often the case — mean reversion kicked in…not to mention souring market sentiment triggering selling of risk-on assets.
Lake Resources [ASX:LKE] is emblematic of the sell-off. LKE shares are down more than 70% from their all-time high reached in April.
So is the run over?
Or are there lithium stocks worthy of consideration?
While the easy money has been made in the lithium sector, you can still find quality stocks — but you have to be careful, diligent, and picky.
In our recent Money Morning report, we profiled three overlooked lithium stocks that are best-placed to enjoy the strong secular demand for the critical battery tech metal.
For Money Morning