SMM, 8 May:
Battery and downstream end market: power market, domestic car companies such as BYD, Weilai, Chery new energy vehicle sales rose sharply in April, but still lower than the same period last year. The domestic car market gradually recovers every month, but compared with the same period last year, the recovery is still not satisfactory, and it is expected that the economy will not return to normal until the second half of the year. The overseas European car market resumed production on April 27 at the earliest, but due to the large number of parts factories, it will still take time for the whole plant to fully resume production, and the battery supply of Japan and South Korea is expected to gradually increase by the end of May. In the consumer market, demand for high-end consumer goods such as power tools has increased in Europe and the United States, and related consumer battery orders are expected to increase gradually in mid-to late May. However, mobile phones and low-end mobile power and other products are mostly exported to India and other Southeast Asian markets, because the epidemic prevention and control is not as expected, the market recovery time is more difficult to predict, some battery factories began to switch to the e-cigarette market at the end of April.
Electrolytic cobalt and cobalt hydroxide: the domestic price of electrolytic cobalt remains unchanged this week. Domestic downstream suppliers are still waiting to see the market, individual suppliers electricity cobalt inventory is sufficient (about 2-3 months of inventory), procurement enthusiasm is low. The operating rate of producers has fallen slightly, and traders have raised prices but few transactions have been made. Overseas markets have recovered slowly, still dominated by long orders, and prices have continued to fall because of weak demand. In terms of cobalt hydroxide, although the ban was lifted after the May Day holiday in South Africa, the port is still congested. Large domestic smelting enterprises still have cobalt raw material inventory, but small and medium-sized enterprises raw material inventory slightly pressure, has been reduced the operating rate. Superimposed downstream demand is still cold, raw material market enquiries are less, suppliers have not yet quoted. The price of SMM electrolytic cobalt is 22.5-240000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. The price of SMM cobalt hydroxide is $9.8 / lb, the average price is the same as last week.
Cobalt and nickel salts: cobalt salt prices are flat this week. This week, the trading volume of cobalt sulfate is more than that of cobalt chloride, and the transaction price of cobalt sulfate is basically in the range of 4.4-45000 yuan / ton. Some large cobalt tetroxide plants purchase due to new orders, cobalt chloride market inventory is less, compared with cobalt sulfate is still a premium. Cobalt salt factories are willing to raise prices, some manufacturers bid up, downstream began to worry about future price increases, but the current downstream orders are limited, prices are in a stalemate. The price of cobalt sulfate in SMM is 4.4-47000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. The current price of SMM cobalt chloride is 5.3-56000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. The price of nickel sulfate in SMM battery grade is 23500-24000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Cobalt tetroxide: the price of cobalt oxide was flat on Thursday. Upstream cobalt salt price is strong, cobalt oxide manufacturer also raised quotation, but downstream cobalt lithium acid factory and battery factory pressure price, deal sporadic, market price stalemate does not fall. The current price of SMM cobalt oxide is 17-175000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Ternary precursor: the price of the body before the yuan was flat on Wednesday. This week, the prices of cobalt salt and nickel salt in the upstream remain unchanged, there are many inquiries downstream, and the actual transaction orders are sporadic. Some precursor factories are willing to raise prices, but the downstream demand is weak, and it is difficult for the prices of precursors to pick up. The price of SMM ternary precursor (type 523) is 7.1-73000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. The price of SMM ternary precursor (622) is 7.8-81000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Lithium carbonate: lithium carbonate prices continue to fall this week. In the first week after the festival, market transactions were deserted, suppliers generally feedback that downstream demand is still shrinking, price pressure is obvious, and it is expected that future demand will gradually pick up in the third quarter. In addition, the terminal cost reduction pressure is gradually transmitted to the upstream, the market is basically based on battery grade lithium carbonate low amplitude quotation as a reference, the high and low amplitude price difference continues to narrow. This week SMM battery grade lithium carbonate price is 4.35-45000 yuan / ton, the average price is down 500 yuan / ton from last week. This week, the price of SMM industrial grade zero lithium carbonate is 3.6-39500 yuan / ton, down 250 yuan / ton compared with last week.
Lithium hydroxide: battery grade lithium hydroxide prices are flat this week. Manufacturers said that in the second quarter of the domestic high-nickel battery manufacturers demand reduction, overseas cathode material manufacturers affected by the epidemic also slightly reduced production, the overall market demand is significantly weaker. At present, the domestic battery grade lithium hydroxide (coarse particles) has a large price difference between high and low, and the leading large factories are still performing normally because of long overseas orders, and the prices are firm; the rest of the small and medium-sized manufacturers mainly focus on the domestic market, affected by the reduction of overseas battery export orders, weak demand, sporadic transactions, and no price adjustment plan for the time being. This week, the price of SMM battery grade lithium hydroxide (coarse particles) is 5.3-59000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Lithium cobalt: the price of lithium cobalt is flat this week. The price of upstream raw materials is strong, the downstream lithium cobalt acid battery factory depresses the price, and this week the newly signed orders for lithium cobalt are sporadic and the price is stable. The price of lithium cobalt sulfate in SMM4.35V is 19.1-196000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Ternary materials: the price of ternary materials is flat this week. This week, the price of the upstream precursor remains unchanged, the inventory of the battery factory is high, the willingness to purchase after the festival is not strong, and the market trading volume is insufficient. Downstream many consumer battery factories have recently stopped procurement and production, mainly to consume inventory, downstream demand is weak, prices have been low. The price of SMM ternary material (type 523) is 11.1-118000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. The price of SMM ternary material (model 622) is 13.1-139000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Lithium iron phosphate: the price of lithium iron phosphate remains unchanged this week. Lithium carbonate prices fell slightly this week, power lithium iron trading volume is low, prices remain unchanged. Recently, the iron tower energy storage order increment of small and medium-sized plants, but the price pressure is serious, the profit space is constantly compressed. The price of lithium iron phosphate (power) in SMM this week is 36-4, 000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Lithium manganate: the price of lithium manganate remains unchanged this week. Lithium carbonate prices fell slightly this week, trading volume after the festival is low, prices remain unchanged. Lithium manganate orders fell sharply in April, most manufacturers can only reduce the price of shipments, but the current price of lithium manganate is more difficult to reduce the price. The price of lithium manganate (volume) in SMM this week is 215,300 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week. This week, the price of SMM lithium manganate (power type) is 3.4-36000 yuan / ton, the average price is the same as last week.
Future forecast: cobalt, large domestic smelting enterprises still have cobalt raw material inventory, but small and medium-sized enterprises raw material inventory slightly pressure, has been reduced the operating rate. The smelter raised the offer, but the terminal demand was limited and the downstream customers did not pay the bill. Lithium, according to SMM research, the mainstream enterprise production plan in May no significant adjustment, the reason is to maintain existing customers, as far as possible to avoid shutdown; or enterprises are still to complete the production plan, there is no plan to reduce production. Based on this, the industry inventory pressure still has increased risk, in addition to some new investment enterprises, do not understand that some enterprises do not offer the situation. In order to ship, the price of electricity carbon may continue to fall slowly. The subsequent price changes of lithium hydroxide should pay attention to the overseas orders of large factories in May and June. If the orders decrease significantly, the price may weaken rapidly.
SMM Battery Materials Research team
Hu Yan 021-51666809
Qin Jingjing 021-51666828
Mei Wangqin 021-51666759
Huo Yuan 021-51666898