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Ternary materials, precursors prices to extend declines in April on grim demand outlook 
Apr 23, 2020 14:37CST
Source:SMM
Prices of ternary materials and precursors in China will see further downside risk before May as inventories continued to pile up, driven by slowed or delayed purchases by downstream producers of power batteries amid falling orders. 

SHANGHAI, Apr 23 (SMM) – Prices of ternary materials and precursors in China will see further downside risk before May as inventories continued to pile up, driven by slowed or delayed purchases by downstream producers of power batteries amid falling orders. 


SMM assessments showed that prices of ternary material NCM523 declined 3,000 yuan/mt from April 22 to 116,000-122,000 yuan/mt as of April 23, after prices held flat at an average 122,000 yuan/mt for most of April. 


Prices of ternary precursor NCM523, the raw material for ternary material, also shed 3,000 yuan/mt from the previous day to 71,000-73,000 yuan/mt as of April 23, SMM assessed. 


A decline in downstream purchases drove ternary precursor plants to scramble for orders for May, and this resulted in the drops in prices as of April 23. 


On the supply front, ternary precursor mills wound down production in April, but no output cut schedule has been heard for May. This will keep the market well supplied next month. 


Producers of lithium salts, also a feedstock for batteries, will mostly maintain stable production in May, with only some plants planning for short-term maintenance or adjusting production lines. 


End-users consumption for new energy vehicles has not shown signs of a significant pickup in China amid the lingering impact of the coronavirus. This kept most NEV makers in China running at low rates, except for the Tesla Shanghai factory, which continued to move up a gear. 


Overseas demand was also subdued as only a handful of foreign carmakers have restarted operations. 


A large-scale ternary materials producer in south China reported a plunge in its export orders due to the pandemic outbreak. Decreased orders were also seen in the digital battery market since mid-April, which also negatively impacted ternary materials plants as some plants shifted capacity to the digital battery market.


A major battery maker in China has slashed production by 40-50% in the second half of April, as downstream plants asked to postpone deliveries. 

 

 

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