SHANGHAI, Nov 27 (SMM) – China imported some 136,000 mt in physical content of spodumene concentrate in October, down 39.3% from a month ago but up 24.6% from a year earlier, the latest customs data showed.
The average import prices extended decline by 4.7% on the month and 22.8% on the year, and came in at $586/mt.
About 130,000 mt of spodumene concentrate was imported in October for producing lithium salts, with an average import price of $587.8/mt.
Last month, China's major lithium compounds producer Ganfeng Lithium was the top importer of spodumene concentrate, as it took about 7,100 mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) from overseas, which was used to produce lithium salts. The import volumes were up 68% from September.
Average import price of the company came in at $496/mt on a cif basis in October.
While domestic spot prices of spodumene concentrate fell below that of cif prices at ports, most smelters barely procured spot cargoes but fulfiled long-term contracts in order to ensure consistency of ore quality given high requirement from downstream power battery mills and carmakers.
Smelters also managed to lock in stable sources of supply on expectations of a more concentrated market amid falling lithium prices.