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Lithium Carbonate Price Review & Forecast

iconApr 14, 2024 14:44
Source:SMM
Lithium carbonate prices rose in the week ending April 11. Domestic production in March reached 42,792 mt, up 31.8% MoM, following maintenance at lithium salt companies. However, environmental regulations in Jiangxi's Yichun area slightly hindered the resumption of small and medium-sized local lithium salt enterprises. In March, demand for lithium carbonate surged by 70% MoM, causing tight spot liquidity. April production is projected to increase by 24% to 53,135 mt. Despite this, demand continues to rise, and prices are expected to remain stable due to ongoing futures deliveries and trade market activities. Tight spot liquidity is likely to persist in the short term.

Lithium ore

Lepidolite prices increased in the week ending April 11 due to high lithium carbonate prices. Some miners and traders withheld stock, causing a shortage of low-priced supplies. In Jiangxi, relaxed environmental regulations allowed more manufacturers to resume production, boosting demand for lepidolite concentrate. To sustain production, companies purchased at higher prices, further escalating costs.

Spodumene import prices saw a modest increase in the week ending April 11. Currently, overseas supply remains stable, with current ore prices ensuring normal cash flow and profits for most mines. The extent of price support and increases by foreign enterprises has decreased compared to earlier periods. This change is primarily due to the recent fluctuations in domestic lithium salt prices and the unclear upward trend in the coming period. Lithium salt companies are showing less willingness to pay high prices for spodumene concentrate, yet there has been no trend of declining seller quotes as of April 11.

Expectations of falling lithium salt prices over the next few months have motivated miners to outsource processing business to smelters and then deliver lithium carbonate futures contract for hedging. With limited domestic circulation of spodumene spot goods, import prices are expected to remain stable or slightly increase in the short term.

Lithium carbonate

Lithium carbonate prices rose in the week ending April 11. Domestic production in March reached 42,792 mt, up 31.8% MoM, following maintenance at lithium salt companies. However, environmental regulations in Jiangxi's Yichun area slightly hindered the resumption of small and medium-sized local lithium salt enterprises. In March, demand for lithium carbonate surged by 70% MoM, causing tight spot liquidity. April production is projected to increase by 24% to 53,135 mt. Despite this, demand continues to rise, and prices are expected to remain stable due to ongoing futures deliveries and trade market activities. Tight spot liquidity is likely to persist in the short term.


Lithium Hydroxide

Lithium hydroxide prices experienced a slight increase in the week ending April 11. High costs of ore and industrial-grade lithium hydroxide have led battery-grade lithium hydroxide companies to support prices, resulting in limited availability of spot goods. Scheduled production of cathode makers, especially high-nickel cathode makers, continues to rise. With low inventory levels and reduced supplies from battery cell manufacturers, cathode companies increased purchases to support production, leading to higher market prices. There is limited willingness to accept high-priced lithium salts. Currently, competition intensifies around the 100,000 yuan/mt mark, with expectations that lithium hydroxide prices will continue to rise steadily.

Please do not hesitate to contact Jean at jeantang@smm.cn or 86-19946295759 if you have any question or inquiry.

Nickel

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