SHANGHAI, Jan 12 (SMM) - The domestic lithium carbonate output stood at 34,813 mt in December, down 5% MoM, but up 89% YoY. The seasonal output cuts by salt lake-based smelters, together with maintenance by some lepidolite-based smelters in Jiangxi following environmental protection issue, led to the decline in lithium carbonate output. However, the demand shock from output cuts by battery makers and bearish sentiment on lithium prices caused lithium carbonate prices to drop dramatically in mid-to-late December. In January, salt lake-based smelters will maintain small-scale production cuts, while spodumene-based smelters will undertake maintenance, which will drive down lithium carbonate output. In response to falling orders and extensive maintenance, downstream enterprises barely purchased lithium carbonate. It is expected that the supply surplus in lithium carbonate market will escalate in January and its prices will maintain a downward trend.