Lithium hydroxide prices decreased on new concluded deals but
limited transactions, while lithium carbonate prices moved down
in the rest of the world.
- Lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices fell week on week
due to sluggish demand from downstream buyers.
- Lower technical and industrial-grade carbonate and
hydroxide-lithium compound spot prices are the major factors
for the lower battery-grade prices this week.
- Downstream consumers have started purchasing more
material on a spot basis to avoid paying the premium prices,
on a contract basis, suggested by suppliers amid the current
downward price trend.
- Lithium carbonate spot prices fell in the rest of the
world due to slow demand and cheaper Chinese material
available in the global spot market.
The battery-grade lithium carbonate spot market prices in
China have remained under pressure as a result of sporadic
downstream buying activity while most consumers remain hesitant
to place orders due to fear of further price decrease amid the
current negative market price outlook.
Industrial Minerals last assessed the Chinese domestic
spot battery-grade lithium carbonate price (min 99.5%
Li2CO3) at 94,000-100,000 yuan ($13,758-14,636) per tonne
on Thursday 9 August, down from 94,000-102,000 yuan per tonne
the previous week.
"Lithium carbonate prices keep falling week on week and have
done at a faster pace in the last two weeks owing to thin
buying activity," a lithium producer told Industrial Minerals.
"Our customers are unwilling to place long-term contracts due
to the current continuous price decrease, and prefer to
purchase materials on a weekly and monthly basis."
Technical and industrial-grade lithium carbonate (min 99%
Li2CO3) spot prices in China have also decreased week on week
due to the cheaper material made available from brine
production in the Qinghai region.
Industrial Minerals last assessed the technical and
industrial-grade lithium carbonate market price at
75,000-80,000 yuan per tonne on August 9, down from
80,000-85,000 yuan per tonne the week before.
"The technical, industrial and battery-grade lithium carbonate
produced from brine in the region of Qinghai has been dragging
the carbonate prices down due to the much lower production
costs than producing lithium carbonate from hard rock,
therefore, it’s available in the spot market at a
cheaper price," a consumer told Industrial Minerals.
Amid this depressed consumption scenario, with downstream
consumers holding back on further purchases and lower prices in
the market, battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices decreased
week on week.
Lower technical and industrial-grade lithium hydroxide spot
prices are also a major factor behind the price decrease in the
lithium-hydroxide compounds market in China this week.
lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) prices
were assessed at 115,000-130,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday
August 9, down from 125,000-135,000 yuan per tonne the previous
week, according to Industrial Minerals’ market
industrial-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5%
LiOH.H2O) prices were also assessed lower week on week
at 111,500-121,500 yuan per tonne from 115,000-125,000 yuan per
tonne on Thursday August 9.
"Lithium hydroxide prices in China have a current wide price
range as old producers are selling micronized material with a
lower set of impurities and keep offering material above
130,000 yuan per tonne," a second producer told Industrial
"However, smaller battery-grade lithium hydroxide producers can
place material [typically with higher set of impurities] in the
market for use in the battery industry as low as 115,000 yuan
per tonne," the producer added. "Combine that with the fact
that technical and industrial-grade prices are being sold close
to 110,000 yuan per tonne, this is increasing the pressure for
lower lithium hydroxide prices in the spot market," the
Seaborne carbonate prices down
Lower lithium carbonate prices in the Chinese domestic
market over the course of the past month, slow consumption and
cheaper Chinese material available in the international market
have pushed the lithium-carbonate seaborne market down this
Industrial Minerals assessed the price of battery-grade
lithium carbonate (min 99.5% Li2CO3) cif China, Japan and South
Korea at $16.50-18.50 per kg on Thursday August 9 from
$17-19 per kg the week before.
"Lower Chinese domestic prices have been pushing down the rest
of the world market as offers in the international market are
as low as $16.50 per kg, whereas technical and industrial-grade
material is just a dollar below this price," a third producer
told Industrial Minerals.
Despite the lower battery-grade lithium carbonate prices, the
lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) spot
prices were assessed at $19-20 per kg on a cif China, Japan
and South Korea basis on Thursday August 9, unchanged due to
lack of spot activity.
European, US prices carbonate prices down
The European and US spot prices for battery-grade lithium
carbonate compounds fell week on week on slow activity and
lower global spot prices.
Industrial Minerals assessed prices for battery-grade lithium
carbonate, min 99.5% Li2CO3 at $17-18.50 per kg, ddp Europe and
US on Thursday August 9 from $17-19 per kg last week.
"The European market has been so slow that we had to decrease
our prices and are now offering our material as low as $17 per
kg," a distributor told Industrial Minerals. "Prices, globally
speaking, are already below $17 per kg and we would be
surprised if prices in Europe and the US don’t
Moreover, despite the descending market trend in the global
lithium market, lithium-hydroxide monohydrate, min 56.5% LiOH
H2O, spot prices were assessed at $18.50-20 per kg, ddp Europe
and US, on Thursday August 9 also stable on a lack of
Minerals’ trade log for battery-grade lithium
carbonate in China for August includes all trades, bids and
offers reported to Industrial Minerals.
Learn more about Industrial
Minerals' lithium pricing methodology and read the
latest lithium price spotlight here.
All lithium carbonate, hydroxide and spodumene prices are
available in our Battery Raw Materials Market Tracker.
Get a sample of the report here.