SHANGHAI, Mar 10 (SMM)—This is a roundup of China's cobalt sulphate, lithium carbonate and cathode materials output in February 2021, from an exclusive survey of key producers by SMM analysts.
China’s cobalt sulphate output stood at 3,615 mt (Co content) in February, down 16.6% month on month, but up 99.6% year on year. Some cobalt salts plants were closed for 7-10 days in February for the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, which led to the decline in cobalt sulphate output.
Although some plants reduced output in March due to shortages of raw materials, some raised output amid rising demand. SMM expects China's cobalt sulphate supply to rise 18% from February and 21.4% from a year ago to 4,300 mt (Co content) in March.
China's lithium carbonate output continued to shrink in February. Producers in Jiangxi cut output slighlty due to power consumption restrictions in local industrial parks. Besides, some plants were closed for 3-4 days for the CNY holiday.
Producers in Sichuan suspended production for maintenance because of shortages of raw materials, which is expected to continue to affect their output in March. Operating rates in Qinghai remained low, but are likely to improve significantly in April.
China’s February ternary materials and lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) output slid 13% and 18% month on month respectively due to shorter operating days and as some plants closed some production lines during the CNY holiday. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) output fell slightly in February as strong downstream demand encouraged producers to operate at full capacity. Only a few of them were suspended during the CNY holiday. Lithium manganese oxide (LMO) output fell sharply in February as most of the LMO plants only operated for less than one week in the month.