The price spread of domestic and overseas cobalt continued to expand, which coupled with rising inventories of cobalt salts in China, added to bearish and cautious sentiment in the market. In the lithium sector, demand recovery in the downstream power battery market remained slow and barely supported prices of battery-grade lithium carbonate. The revival of the digital devices market underpinned prices of industrial-grade lithium carbonate.
SMM expects the near-term price development of battery raw materials to be determined by expectations of demand recovery. If the global coronavirus outbreak fails to be effectively addressed in the second quarter, subdued downstream demand may continue to depress prices of upstream raw materials.
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