Industry News, Market Trends

Crazy lithium battery material price increases, will it last long?

Battery material

After the latest round price increases of raw materials for lithium batteries, the price of domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate reached 22,300 USD to 22,500 USD per ton. The price of the material has risen by 173% since the beginning of the year.

Statistics of Shanghai Steel Union’s data found that in the first quarter of this year, domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate prices rose sharply, followed by a stabilization in the second quarter, or even a slight correction. In August, the price of the material increased again. Among them, from August to now more than a month, domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate prices rose as high as 61% in stages.

The price of lithium hydroxide is no better than that of lithium carbonate. The latest price for the material could reach 22,340 USD to 22,500 USD per ton, up more than 190% this year, according to the Shanghai Federation of Steel.

SmartPropel notes that, unlike lithium carbonate, where prices have stabilized midway through a correction, lithium hydroxide price is continually increasing. The price of the material has risen sharply, to 44%, in more than a month since the beginning of August.

In terms of production costs, lithium carbonate is not that different from lithium hydroxide. “Both the lithium carbonate and the lithium hydroxide can be prepared from spodumene, the difference being the process, the production equipment, but the cost is similar.”If the salt lake brine is used to prepare the lithium hydroxide, the cost would be much higher.

However, both lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, prices continued to rise, there is a great gap between supply and demand. Limited supply, corresponding to the huge demand, is the current domestic lithium battery material price rising more than the core reason. Supply-side, lithium concentrate supply tension, spodumene high price operation; demand side, downstream manufacturers of NCM materials and lithium iron phosphate basically at full capacity state, pull lithium salt product demand further growth.

Take lithium carbonate as an example, since August this year, the domestic lithium carbonate supply and demand gap of about 14%, leading to a further extension of the pattern of the market in short supply. The relatively stable lithium hydroxide market has been the main reason why its price has risen less than that of lithium carbonate since August.

But there is no denying that huge demand downstream does put even greater pressure on the supply side.

China’s production and sales of new energy vehicles rose 8.8 percent and 18.6 percent month-on-month in August to 309,000 and 321,000 respectively, according to statistics released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Sept. 10, year-on-year growth of 1.8 times, a record high. So far, from January to August this year, China’s cumulative production and sales of new energy vehicles reached 1.813 million and 1.799 million respectively, an increase of 1.9 times year-on-year. The penetration rate of new energy vehicles has risen to about 11 percent. Of these, the penetration rate for new energy vehicles rose to 17.8% in August.

The booming market for new energy vehicles quickly fueled the lithium battery industry chain’s frenzy. China’s power battery production totaled 19.5 GWH. The output of NCM batteries was 8.4 GWH, accounting for 42.9% of the total output, which increased by 91.5%, and that of lithium iron phosphate batteries was 11.1 GWH, accounting for 56.9%, which increased by 268.2%.
Industry institutions said that after entering September, lithium carbonate’s short-term supply no obvious increase, high demand for lithium materials prices are expected to be strong support.

The pressure on the supply of lithium-ion battery materials also comes from an expected round of production expansion by power battery companies. According to incomplete statistics from industry organizations, in August, a number of companies led by CATL announced projects to expand the production of power batteries, with a total investment of more than 20.8 billion yuan. However, the large expansion of power battery capacity is bound to cause further contraction of upstream material supply. As a result, many battery companies have also joined the competition for lithium-ion materials, CATL, Guoxuan, EVE, SmartPropel can have their tentacles extended upstream.

With the lithium battery anode and cathode material soaring, the lithium battery product price also rises, the price has been climbing. The company’s hot-selling electric moped scooter/motorcycle products, including 60V 30Ah, 72V 30AH, 72V 45AH, 72V 60Ah, electric bicycle batteries, and energy storage products prices also have an upward trend.

SmartPropel upholds the production of high-quality batteries, nearly 10 years of customized production experience, and provides customers with a full range of services so that each customer is assured to order.