Global X, already a fast-growing ETF provider, has made its biggest impression on the market yet by offering a lithium ETF. It’s the first product that gives investors a way to get exposure to this rare but increasingly popular metal.
Global X CEO Bruno del Ama says the response to the Global X Lithium (NYSEARCA:LIT) has been tremendous so far: in just a little more than two weeks of trading, average volume has been more than 400k shares and it’s amassed $15 million in assets. It’s little wonder: investors have long sought a lithium product, since the metal is not traded on any exchange despite its growing popularity.
Del Ama points out that lithium is being used in just about everything that powers our lives these days: cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, hybrid and electric vehicles. Lithium is also a major component in renewable energy, storing up power produced by wind and the sun for later use.
Battery use is a large part of the lithium market, at 25%. Del Ama says this number is expected to grow to 40% of the market over the next 10 years. “That’s a tremendous amount of growth. There’s a lot of lithium around the world that hasn’t even been exploited,” del Ama says. Even in areas where lithium has been found, such as Bolivia, it hasn’t yet been processed.
There are still some questions about the lithium market. Although it’s plentiful now, del Ama says there’s some question as to how much of that has been processed. The existing amount “should be sufficient to meet demand over the next decade or so,” he says. After that, the supply could become challenged.
The fund itself is about evenly split between lithium producers and battery producers, with the heaviest weights given to the lithium industry’s largest producers, who make up 44% of the fund’s assets. The United States is the largest country weighting at 49%. Chile, the world’s largest producer of lithium, is 20% of the fund. Japan, Canada, France and Australia all have smaller weightings.