SHANGHAI, Nov 22 (SMM) – The market sentiment of lithium ore increased further. SQM, the world's second-largest lithium miner, predicted that the average price of lithium will rise by nearly 50% compared to Q3 in Q4.
Lithium concentrate prices have risen significantly, supporting lithium salt prices. SMM data showed that the average price of domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate stood at 198,500 yuan/mt as of November 19, an increase of 275.5% from early this year.
As of November 19, the average spot price of domestic battery-grade lithium hydroxide was 188,000 yuan/mt, an increase of 254.7% from the beginning of the year.
Lithium carbonate may have formed a supply gap of about 16% in the past two months. Although material factories cleared inventory and traders sold goods, which may ease the supply pressure, the fundamentals are firm. The prices of lithium carbonate are expected to rise slightly. The prices of lithium concentrates long-term orders in the fourth quarter have risen to $1,650/mt, while the prices of battery-grade lithium carbonate stood at 190,000 yuan/mt. The lithium salt factories that signed the long-term orders still have the upper hand.
Lithium prices are likely to keep firm amid tight supply, so do concentrate prices. The production of cathode materials continued to increase amid the easing of power rationing policies. The production and demand for LFP is bullish, pushing up the demand for lithium carbonate. The third round of price hike of lithium commenced, and the price of lithium carbonate will take the lead.