Lithium carbonate, lithium hexafluorophosphate price increase in addition to the "two demons", another extremely crazy price of lithium materials are also "teeth and claws."
The price of PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), a positive binder and diaphragm coating material for lithium batteries, has soared from 100000 yuan per ton in April last year to about 500000 yuan per ton today, up 400% in just one year. Not only that, the price of R142b, the main raw material for the production of PVDF, exceeded 200000 yuan / ton, with a cumulative increase of 1200% over the past year. All kinds of signs show that another "demon material" of the "lithium material family" was born!
At present, lithium grade PVDF materials are extremely scarce, and there is no substitute in the short term. Therefore, lithium downstream enterprises in order to ensure production and quality, no matter how high the price of PVDF, also have to buy!
"it's really hot, and PVDF has become one of the company's fastest-growing business segments."
"the PVDF products we produce are in short supply. Basically, they are all produced and sold immediately. Downstream enterprises have to queue up to buy them." Many domestic PVDF-related manufacturers responded.
Battery makers are already scrambling to buy. The most representative is the Ningde era, which has the greatest demand.
According to the company's announcement in March this year, it will provide lithium-grade PVDF to Ningde Times, which guarantees that the annual purchase of its lithium-grade PVDF is 80% of the company's total PVDF annual production. According to industry estimates, this will correspond to its 2022 purchase of about 4000 tons of products and corresponding battery production of about 130GWh.
According to Guangfa Securities's forecast, the scale of lithium battery production in 2022 in Ningde era exceeds that of 400GWh, in which the energy storage is about 50-80GWh. According to a rough estimate, the demand for this kind of tight material in Ningde era will reach more than 12000 tons. The figure is so staggering that the demand of one company alone has exceeded 60 per cent of the country's total annual capacity of lithium-grade PVDF in 2021.
Market participants believe that PVDF will be the most scarce lithium material in 2022.
At present, with the rapid tide of global automobile electrification, the demand of downstream enterprises of PVDF is accelerating. According to industry data, global lithium battery shipments reached 600GWh in 2021, an increase of more than 130% over the same period last year. Therefore, the amount of PVDF material used in lithium battery increases rapidly. Including Ningde era, Panasonic, LG New Energy, BYD, Yiwei Lithium Energy and other global battery giants are snapping up PVDF.
As one of the indispensable key materials in the lithium battery industry chain, industry insiders point out that PVDF can bond active materials, conductive agents and fluid collectors on the positive electrode of lithium batteries, maintain the uniformity and stability of active materials during pulping, and play a vital role in maintaining the capacity, service life and stability of the battery.
In general, ternary batteries require about 2 per cent of PVDF, while lithium iron phosphate batteries require more, about 3.5 per cent. According to industry estimates, the general 1GWhternary battery needs about 20 tons of PVDF,1GWh lithium iron phosphate battery needs about 35 tons of PVDF. In particular, with the introduction of BYD blade batteries, and the tilt of giants such as Tesla and Ningde era to lithium iron phosphate batteries, the installed capacity and market share of lithium iron batteries have increased significantly, driving the further expansion of PVDF demand.
It is worth noting that the large cylindrical 4680 battery is becoming a new hot spot in the layout of many enterprises around the world. Since both positive and negative electrodes need to be coated with PVDF on the diaphragm, the amount of PVDF is further increased to 8%, which is 2-3 times that of conventional batteries. In that case, the 1GWh4680 battery needs about 80 tons of PVDF. In March this year, Tesla announced the production of the millionth 4680 battery.
Under the high economic trend of the new energy industry, global lithium battery shipments will continue to maintain high growth in the future. By 2025, Ningde era production capacity planning will be about 670GWh, BYD planning will exceed 600GWh, Honeycomb Energy Planning 600GWh, China Chuangxin Airlines Planning 500G Whery LG New Energy Planning 430GWh, Guoxuan Hi-Tech Planning Super 300GWh, Yiwei LiNeng Planning 300G Whminute ski Planning 200GWh, Panasonic Planning 160GWh, Xinwanda Planning Super 140GWh, Funeng Technology Planning Super 120GWh.
According to the estimates of the industry, the global demand for lithium-grade PVDF is about 57000 tons in 2022, and the global demand for lithium-grade PVDF will exceed 120000 tons by 2025. From the perspective of the domestic market, other institutions have previously predicted that China's demand for lithium grade PVDF is expected to increase from 25000 tons in 2021 to 94000 tons in 2024, with a compound growth rate of more than 55 per cent from 2021 to 2024.
From the current supply side, although the total production capacity of China's PVDF industry is 71000 tons / year in 2021, most of them are conventional products, and the production capacity of lithium PVDF is relatively small. According to industry statistics, the annual production capacity of lithium binder PVDF in China is only 19000 tons / year in 2021, and there is a huge supply gap.
Under the temptation of strong demand, the original PVDF manufacturers and fluorine chemical enterprises have joined the army of PVDF production expansion. These include: Lianchuang shares, Dongyue Group, Juhua shares, Haohua Technology, Yonghe shares, Sinochem Blue Sky, Sanai Fu, Funolin, Deyi New Materials, Shenzhen Xinxing, Tianlin New Materials, PUTailai, Liwen Chemical, Zhongchuang Environmental Protection and so on.
Among them, Shenzhen Xinxing plans to build an annual PVDF project with an annual output of 2000 tons in March this year; Zhongchuang Environmental Protection plans to build an annual PVDF project with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons in February this year; Cochuang plans to build an annual PVDF industrial chain project with an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons in January this year; Juhua plans to add 48000 tons / year VDF technical renovation and expansion projects and 23500 tons / year PVDF projects in December last year; Putailai plans to build 20, 000 tons / year PVDF and 45000 tons / year R142b projects in December last year Yonghe plans to build an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons of PVDF (lithium grade 2000 tons / year) in August last year.
However, the expansion of PVDF is easier said than done. Different from conventional PVDF materials, lithium grade PVDF has a high technical barrier, and only a few enterprises have production capacity for a long time.
According to the analysis of industry insiders, lithium grade PVDF is not only complex in process and difficult to prepare, but also must be matched with raw material R142b, which has been strictly controlled by many countries around the world. According to the Montreal Agreement, developed countries have basically stopped producing R142b due to environmental protection and pollution problems, and China is constantly cutting its production quotas. Relevant data show that the current domestic total production capacity of R142b is about 150000 tons, and there is no new capacity expansion before the end of 2022.
On the other hand, the production expansion cycle of PVDF takes about 2-3 years, and there is an one-year certification cycle. Even if there is new production capacity, it is difficult to release it in the short term. According to industry statistics, at present, the new production capacity of PVDF under construction and planning for lithium battery binder in China is expected to be as high as 124000 tons / year, but the progress of construction and production is generally slow, and many of them will not be put into production until 2022.
Due to the lack of new production capacity in 2022, the price of lithium binder PVDF is expected to continue to rise in the future. Citic Securities predicts that it will be difficult to alleviate the shortage of PVDF supply in the next two years, and the high economy will continue.
"in the next 2-3 years, PVDF and R142b will be one of the most scarce materials in the battery. From the investigation of battery enterprises, the core factory regards PVDF as the most scarce material in the future." Guosheng petrochemical analysts predicted.