SHANGHAI, Mar 2 (SMM) — Prices of cobalt, nickel and manganese rose after CNY. Prices of cobalt salt also climbed due to disrupted raw material transportation and strong demand. Nickel prices surged amid positive macro front and fundamentals. This, coupled with shortage of spot nickel sulphate, lifted prices of nickel sulphate. Precursor producers reported low level of raw material inventory, which can only meet some long-term orders. Downstream demand was strong. As such, spot prices of precursors soared, and the post-holiday quotations have increased by 10,000-15,000 yuan/mt.
Lithium carbonate quotations rose significantly after the holiday as insignificant recovery of output at lithium salt plants and gradual recovery of downstream demand tightened the supply of lithium salt. This, together with rising prices of iron phosphate and manganese dioxide, increased costs of LFP and LMO producers. Large battery makers have a bigger proportion of demand for LFP and strong bargaining power, keeping LFP prices from rising sharply. The price increase of LMO was also slow as it is difficult for LMO battery makers to pass higher prices to downstream producers and as competition in LMO market is fierce.