SHANGHAI, Dec 23 (SMM) – China imported some 73,000 mt in physical content of spodumene concentrate in November, down 46.1% from a month ago, with the decline accelerating from a drop of 39.3% in October, the latest customs data showed.
On a yearly basis, imports were 50.4% lower in November, compared to a 24.6% rise in October, as domestic consumers withheld from procuring in a falling market. No seaborne spodumene raw ore entered China last month.
The average import prices extended their decline by 5.6% on the month and 27.9% on the year, to $553/mt in November.
About 71,000 mt of spodumene concentrate was imported for producing lithium salts, with an average import price of $541.8/mt.
Last month, China's major lithium compounds producer Ganfeng Lithium remained the top importer of spodumene concentrate, as it took about 4,310 mt of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) from overseas, which was used to produce lithium salts. The import volumes were down 40.2% from October.
Average import price of the company came in at $456/mt on a cif basis in November, down from $496/mt in October.
Market participants told SMM that price negotiations between Chinese smelters and Australian mines have occurred at as low as $455/mt as new miners were compelled to maintain production and sell off stocks amid cash-flow burden.