Chinese battery-grade lithium carbonate prices have risen since the lunar new year with producers making higher offers because of the positive outlook for the new energy vehicles market.
Chinese lithium producers pushed prices higher this week on expectations of rising demand from the new energy vehicles (NEVs) sector, and some lithium-ion battery cathode material producers have started to replenish stockpiles on an as-needed basis after the lunar new year holiday.
The spot price for battery-grade lithium carbonate (min 99.5% Li2CO3) increased to 150,000-160,000 yuan ($23,676-25,254) per tonne* on Thursday March 8 from 145,000-155,000 yuan per tonne a week earlier, according to the latest Industrial Minerals’ market assessment.
“The Chinese domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate spot market has gone up, with suppliers expecting more sales post-holiday. I think prices will stay at this higher level for a while. We plan to increase our offer price to 165,000 yuan per tonne later,” a lithium producer told Industrial Minerals.
Meanwhile, prices of technical and industrial grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide monohydrate have held steady this week on thin buying activity. The spot price for lithium carbonate (min 99% Li2CO3), technical and industrial grades, ex-works China, was stable at 145,000-150,000 yuan per tonne on March 8.
The price of technical and industrial grades of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) remained at 140,000-145,000 yuan per tonne, while the price of lithium hydroxide monohydrate battery-grade material* was unchanged at 148,000-153,000 yuan per tonne on March 8.
The spot prices for seaborne China, Japan and South Korea lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH.H2O) stayed flat, with overseas buyers showing no interest in restocking.
The spot price for lithium carbonate (min 99% Li2CO3), technical and industrial grade, cif China, Japan and South Korea, remained at $17.50-19.50 per kg, according to Industrial Minerals’ market assessment on March 8. The spot price for lithium carbonate (min 99.5% Li2CO3) battery grade* cif China, Japan and South Korea, was similarly stable at $19.00-21.00 per kg.
The seaborne lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LiOH.H2O) market remained quiet, with buyers still negotiating prices with suppliers. The prices for technical and industrial grades of lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) were unchanged at $19-21 per kg while the price for the battery grade* was $19-22 per kg, both on a cif China, Japan and South Korea basis on March 8.