SHANGHAI, May 13 (SMM) –
Electric Vehicle Battery Prices Fall to RMB 300/set
Tianneng Power and Chaowei Power cut the prices for 48V 12Ah batteries from RMB 320-330/set to RMB 300/set over the May Day holiday.
Scrap Battery Supply Shortage Forces Secondary Lead Smelters to Cut Production
Primary lead smelters are not the only victims of falling lead prices. Secondary lead smelters have also been forced to cut production against low lead prices and high costs.
The price of secondary lead has been unable to keep pace with the decline in the price of primary lead due to stable scrap battery prices. The price of #1 refined lead has fallen RMB 1,000/mt since early March, while those of secondary and secondary refined lead have come down only RMB 700/mt and RMB 800/mt. Scrap battery prices, in contrast, have fallen a mere RMB 375/mt over the same period, even as secondary lead smelters in Hebei, Henan and Hubei, confronting losses, have tried to drive through RMB 150-200/mt cuts in their procurement bid prices.
China Lead Concentrate Imports Continue to Fall
Data from China Customs shows China imported 101,300 mt of lead concentrate during March, down 8.2% from February. YTD imports through March were 346,500 mt, down 12.53% YoY.
The average Shanghai/LME lead price ratio during February fell to 6.3, leaving little profit opportunities for importing concentrate. Falling LME lead prices turned smelters bearish, further depressing imports of lead concentrate, with many smelters conducting maintenance or cutting output in response to soft lead consumption during February and March. Average operating rates at smelters fell in February and March to 55.08% and 54.33%, respectively, curtailing demand for lead concentrate.
China Refined Lead Output Hit 422,300 Mt in April
According to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA), China’s refined lead output during March was 422,300 mt, while YTD output through March was 1.08 million mt, up 16.11% YoY.
Since the CNIA did not release separate output figures for January and February, SMM only compared March output with figures from last December. That comparison shows refined lead output in March slightly higher than the 421,800 mt in December 2012. Lead output from Henan, Hunan, and Yunnan provinces was down 6.6%, 4.08%, and 10.3%, respectively, validating the results from a recent SMM survey.