SHANGHAI, Feb 15 (SMM) - ØCobalt sulphate prices rose 7.1% month-on-month (MoM) in January 2022, driven by the rising costs of raw materials (prices of refined cobalt and cobalt intermediate products added 5.1% and 3.7% respectively). Cobalt salt prices continued to rise along with the booming costs. And nickel sulphate prices recorded a gain of 6.3% MoM. The costs of PCAM (precursor of cathode active materials) surged in light of climbing nickel and cobalt salt prices, while the actual transaction prices saw humble gains as the market was quiet ahead of the Chinese New Year (CNY).
ØThe prices of industrial-grade and battery-grade lithium carbonate soared 39.1% and 37.9% respectively MoM in January 2022. The rapid rise in the prices of lithium salt quickly heightened the costs of downstream NMC materials and lithium iron phosphate (LFP). For example, the prices of NMC materials (type 523) and lithium iron phosphate rose by 13.8% and 23.2% month-on-month respectively in January, subsequently resulting in an increase in the costs of batteries. The prices of NMC 532 prismatic battery cells and LFP prismatic battery cells rose 5.3% and 9.4% MoM respectively in the month. Battery companies then gradually transferred the booming costs to car makers in 2021. As such, the cost pressures faced by car makers rose quickly on the combination of shrinking subsidies. Price hikes of some car models have already been announced since the beginning of 2022. If the prices of lithium battery rise further, the costs of battery cells will be confined to the upward trajectory as well. In other words, there is possibility that car makers will further hike the quotes of NEV.