SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (SMM) - According to SMM Prices, intraday domestic battery-grade lithium carbonate prices stood between 368,000-376,000 yuan/mt, an average of 372,000 yuan/mt, up 8,000 yuan/mt or 2.2% from yesterday.
The prices of lithium hydroxide, which always shadows the moves of lithium carbonate, also rose today, and the quotes were offered between 300,000-309,000 yuan/mt, an average of 304,500 yuan/mt, up 6,000 yuan/mt or 2.01% from a day ago.
In details, domestic lithium carbonate companies will gradually resume the production from maintenance since mid-February, increasing the supplies. On the demand side, though cathode active material manufacturers will slightly reduce the production post the Chinese New Year holiday, the demand for lithium carbonate is still at a high level. Hence the near-term lithium carbonate prices are likely to keep rising.
For lithium hydroxide, a number of manufacturers conducted maintenance in January, hence the output dropped significantly. Meanwhile, the new capacities were still in the process of ramping up the production, providing limited additional output. SMM believes that the supply of lithium hydroxide will still be restricted by the maintenance in February, with the monthly output falling 9.6% year-on-year.
CITIC Securities believes that the prices of lithium compounds exported from China to Japan and South Korea will rise more quickly in 2022 after the impact of long-order pricing faded. Imported low-priced lithium carbonate products may have the domestic lithium prices hover at a high level. On the backdrop of rising lithium prices worldwide, integrated lithium producers will fully benefit by virtue of guaranteed supply and low costs.
Guosheng Securities said that the global electrification process is accelerating, while the fact is that the domestic and foreign ore and salt lake production capacity has been highly concentrated. On the ground of limited spot supplies and labour shortages caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of lithium ore in Australia is lower than expected. Hence the supply and demand continues to be tight, and lithium salt prices are expected to stay high.