The corresponding evaluation of the lithium hydroxide monohydrate was 340,000-360,000 yuan per tonne on the identical day, up by 50,000 yuan per tonne from 290,000-310,000 yuan per tonne every week earlier.
“A number of main lithium producers in China put their services on upkeep earlier than the brand new yr vacation. They resumed manufacturing this week however didn’t attain full capability till now. So spot lithium items have been tight,” one Chinese language lithium producer informed Fastmarkets.
A second Chinese language lithium producer supply added that its manufacturing wouldn’t attain complete capability till the top of February. A number of market members informed Fastmarkets that Chinese language lithium producers didn’t have any accessible spot items. Some merchants should still have some inventory, however the volumes wouldn’t be important.
Spot lithium unit shortage
“Amid the shortage of spot lithium items, we obtained a number of inquiries for battery-grade lithium carbonate within the first week after Chinese language new yr, and many shoppers have pressing wants. However we’re offered out,” the second Chinese language lithium producer mentioned.
Based on Fastmarkets information, demand for battery-grade lithium carbonate was firmer than that for lithium hydroxide of comparable grade as a result of outperformance and optimistic outlook of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries in China, in contrast with nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries.
Because of this, battery-grade lithium hydroxide costs had been pushed up extra due to the excessive costs for battery-grade lithium carbonate than due to agency demand for lithium hydroxide. This defined why lithium carbonate costs in China continued to carry a big premium over lithium hydroxide costs, Fastmarkets’ first Chinese language lithium producer supply mentioned.
Market members broadly indicated that offer would stay tight within the close to future. Despite the fact that brine manufacturing in China’s Qinghai province was anticipated to get better within the second quarter, lithium provide in China would stay brief, contemplating the robust urge for food for lithium in China.
In the meantime, seaborne battery-grade lithium spot costs in East Asia continued to climb over the previous week, with exercise within the Chinese language home market regularly choosing up after the brand new yr,” the Fastmarkets evaluation discovered.
The tightness of spot items available in the market remained a headache for market members, including additional assist to identify costs. Fastmarkets’ evaluation of the lithium carbonate, 99.5% grade, spot costs, CIF China, Japan and Korea, was $50 to $54 per kilogram on February 8, up by $3 to US$4 per kilogram from $47 to $50 per kilogram on February 7.
An Asia-based dealer flagged to Fastmarkets that delayed expansions of lithium initiatives in South America and Australia had been inflicting lithium provide tightness in seaborne East Asia and the worldwide market into the second quarter.
As a result of tightness within the world spot market and present excessive Chinese language costs, varied market members mentioned that seaborne lithium spot costs had room to rise additional shortly.
The survey additionally discovered lithium costs had been on the rise elsewhere as properly. The rising pattern follows the sooner will increase seen within the Asian markets and the low provide of lithium chemical substances.
“Small merchants haven’t any inventory accessible and are prepared to purchase at any worth,” one European lithium producer informed Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets assessed the lithium carbonate 99% technical and industrial grades, spot worth, DDP (delivered responsibility paid) Europe and US, at $45 to $50 per kilogram on February 10, up by 22% from the earlier month.
Market members noticed battery-grade carbonate and hydroxide costs at parity as soon as once more, with hydroxide technical grade on the similar degree following bullish provides in a decent market.
Battery grade lithium spot costs reached $50.00 to $52.50 per kilogram on February 10, up by 32% from the earlier month.