(Bloomberg) -- Global demand for lithium is accelerating at a faster clip than previously thought, according to the world’s second-largest producer of the rechargeable battery ingredient.

With electric-vehicle demand surging more than 150% in the first half from a year ago, price growth is exceeding SQM’s expectations, the Santiago-based firm said Thursday. 

The improving outlook -- as the transition to clean energy and transport gains momentum -- has SQM forecasting that global demand for lithium could increase more than 40% this year, translating into sales volume of more than 95,000 metric tons. That’s up from its 85,000-ton-plus prediction three months ago. A tightening global market should help SQM’s average prices increase further in the second half. 

“We now believe that total global demand could surpass 1 million tons in 2025,” said the company formally known as Soc. Quimica & Minera de Chile SA.

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