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PCAM and CAM price review and forecast

iconApr 2, 2024 23:35
Source:SMM
Precursor prices remained unchanged in the week ending March 28 with a stable discount rate of 90-92%. Cobalt salt prices have stabilized after a recent dip, and nickel salt prices have remained steady, contributing to overall cost stability. Suppliers were selective with orders, with increased demand mainly for Series 6 products, while spot market activity was limited. As precursor prices typically follow trends in nickel and cobalt salt prices, and given that current nickel sulphate prices are high, precursor prices expected to remain stable in the short term.

Ternary cathode precursor

Precursor prices remained unchanged in the week ending March 28 with a stable discount rate of 90-92%. Cobalt salt prices have stabilized after a recent dip, and nickel salt prices have remained steady, contributing to overall cost stability. Suppliers were selective with orders, with increased demand mainly for Series 6 products, while spot market activity was limited. As precursor prices typically follow trends in nickel and cobalt salt prices, and given that current nickel sulphate prices are high, precursor prices expected to remain stable in the short term.


Ternary cathode material

Ternary cathode material prices decreased slightly in the week ending March 28 due to falling lithium prices reducing production costs. Mid-to-high nickel ternary material producers experienced an increase in new orders, leading to higher operating rates. The market is expected to grow in April, though more slowly. Demand for high-nickel products has slightly increased among leading domestic battery cell makers, while mid-nickel demand remains strong, and low-nickel demand is stable. Second-tier battery cell producers have varied needs for ternary materials, with an overall stable but slightly increasing demand. However, some manufacturers are experiencing lower ternary demand due to reduced auto sales forecasts. Internationally, battery cell demand is growing modestly annually, with a seasonal increase. Ternary material prices are expected to have minor fluctuations following metal price trends.


LFP

Lithium carbonate prices have decreased, but negotiations for discounts between LFP cathode manufacturers and lithium salt producers are challenging. Discounts on LFP cathodes might reach 95-97%, which could prompt cathode manufacturers to increase processing fees. Alternatively, if cell makers agree to prices without a lithium carbonate discount, cathode producers may lower their processing fees. April orders have increased compared to March due to a recovery in the energy storage and EV sectors, leading to potential substantial growth for key manufacturers. Firms with lower scheduled production in Q1 are aiming for higher Q2 targets to offset previous shortfalls.


LCO

LCO prices remained stable in the week ending March 28 due to stable Co3O4 prices and declining lithium prices. The LCO market is relatively calm, with recent minor price increases leading to completed transactions and little current incentive to reduce prices short-term in line with raw material costs. LCO producers are expected to increase inventory in April for May, with a slight rise in demand from some battery cell manufacturers. LCO prices are expected to remain stable going forward.

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