SHANGHAI, May 21 (SMM) – Chinese cathode material producers remained cautious in purchasing raw materials given the poor orders over the week ended May 18, SMM learned.
However, some ternary material producers saw high demand for some specifications.
SMM assessed refined cobalt at 608,000-630,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, with the average price down 6,000 yuan/mt from a week ago. Market participants in the spot market took a watch-and-wait approach amid thin trading liquidity. Despite the low-season in cobalt consumption both in the domestic and international markets, cobalt producers and importers still offered at high levels due to higher prices in the international market.
SMM assessed cobalt sulphate unchanged at 126,000-131,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, compared to the Friday before. Traders and cobalt sulphate producers that rely on scrap were keen to offload their cargoes with a few traded prices heard below 126,000 yuan/mt. Suppliers that rely on primary raw materials offered relatively higher.
SMM assessed cobalt chloride at 151,000-153,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 3,000 yuan/mt from a week ago. Downstream consumers stockpiled small amounts with traded prices down as offers in the international market declined.
SMM assessed nickel sulphate at 26,000-28,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, flat with a week ago.
SMM assessed cobalt (II, III) oxide unchanged at 480,000-490,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, compared to a week ago, with lacklustre trading. Sellers held back from selling while downstream consumers stood on the sidelines.
SMM assessed cobalt (II) oxide at 440,000-450,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 10,000 yuan/mt from a week ago, as supplies exceeded the demand. Some traders cleared their cargoes while cobalt prices traded rangebound.
SMM assessed cobalt powder at 730,000-740,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, flat with a week ago. The repeated environmental inspections supported the cobalt powder prices to stay firm. However, the cobalt powder market is likely to face downward pressure as costs for raw materials dipped.
SMM assessed ternary precursor 523 at 139,000-143,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 1,000 yuan/mt from a week ago, as cobalt sulphate prices fell previously.
SMM assessed lithium carbonate unchanged at 136,000-141,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, compared to a week ago. Although lithium carbonate avoided a consecutive decline last week, downstream consumers were still bearish on prices and held back from buying.
SMM assessed lithium cobalt oxide 4.35V at 482,000-492,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 3,000 yuan/mt from a week ago, as costs for cobalt and lithium decreased.
SMM assessed ternary material 523 at 223,000-233,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 2,000 yuan/mt from a week ago, given the decreasing costs of raw materials. But the trading remained thin.
SMM assessed lithium iron phosphate at 72,000-80,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 1,000 yuan/mt from a week ago. While lithium carbonate prices gave some support to the prices of lithium iron phosphate, trading was thin given the sluggish downstream demand in the energy market.
SMM assessed lithium manganese oxide of long-life version at 51,000-63,000 yuan/mt as of Friday May 18, down 800 yuan/mt from a week ago, with that of high-capacity version at 64,000-73,000 yuan/mt, down 500 yuan/mt. The dips in prices were due to the drops in lithium carbonate prices two weeks ago. Producers in Tianjin, Shandong and Shanxi provinces kept their offers unchanged with decent sales while producers in Hunan and Xiamen lowered their offers.
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