GLOBAL LITHIUM WRAP: China’s lithium hydroxide prices down on lower deals
Published: Friday, 30 November 2018
The China lithium hydroxide price moved down due to lower concluded deals this week, while China’s domestic spot battery-grade lithium carbonate prices and the rest of the world’s battery-grade lithium spot prices kept stable.
China’s spot battery-grade lithium carbonate
market held steady this week due to most major buyers having
sufficient stock of material and despite battery-grade lithium
carbonate produces’ higher offer prices.
- Battery-grade lithium carbonate prices unchanged on thin
- Battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices trend down on
- Industrial-grade carbonate price in Qinghai moves
slightly up on limited output during winter.
- Prices across the rest of the world unchanged with most
buyers still in contract negotiations with their
Fastmarkets last assessed the Chinese domestic
spot battery-grade lithium carbonate price (min 99.5%
Li2CO3) at 74,000-83,000 yuan ($10,638-11,932) per tonne on
Thursday 29, unchanged from the previous week.
"Lithium-carbonate prices have not changed this week as most
buyers have completed purchases for the year," a producer told
Fastmarkets. "I don’t think prices will fluctuate
much in the following weeks either due to limited buying
Industrial-grade lithium carbonate prices from the Qinghai
region in China have slightly firmed week on week due to
reduced output over winter.
industrial-grade lithium carbonate price in China moved up
slightly to 68,000-75,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday 29 from
68,000-73,000 yuan per tonne the week before.
"Production from the Qinghai region typically sees a reduction
of about 60-70% throughout the winter due to snow and rain,
which dramatically reduces evaporation rates," a Chinese
lithium distributor told Fastmarkets.
Reduced consumption and producers’ eagerness to
sell material have slightly pushed down the battery-grade
lithium hydroxide spot prices in China.
lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) price
moved down to 105,000-115,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday, down
from 110,000-120,000 yuan per tonne the previous week,
according to Fastmarkets’ market assessment.
"There have been deals concluded at lower prices and
micro-grade hydroxide prices also moved down with deals
concluded at around 115,000 yuan per tonne recently. Demand
hasn’t improved and prices are lacking upward
support for the moment," a second producer told Fastmarkets.
"We have lowered our battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices
to keep selling material, however, we don’t expect
to lower our prices further in the weeks to come," a second
producer told Fastmarkets.
Asian seaborne prices hold at current levels
The battery-grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices, on a
cif China, Japan and Korea basis, held steady this week due to
limited spot deals being reported.
Most buyers and suppliers remain engaged with their contract
price negotiations for 2019, therefore are holding back on spot
lithium carbonate (min 99.5% Li2CO3) price was assessed at
$13-15 per kg on November 29, while the lithium hydroxide
(min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) price was assessed at $15-17 per kg on
a cif China, Japan and Korea basis on Thursday 29 November,
both unchanged from the previous week.
"The Asian seaborne spot market remains quite slow becuse we
are busy with contract negotiations for 2019, having received
very few material inquiries," a third producer told
Stable European, US spot prices
The European and US battery-grade lithium carbonate and
hydroxide spot prices remained unchanged week on week on a lack
of trading activity.
Most producers and consumers are currently negotiating their
2019 lithium contract prices and are, therefore, largely absent
from the market.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the battery-grade
lithium hydroxide monohydrate (min 56.5% LiOH.H2O) spot market
price was at $15-17 per kg on Thursday 29 November, on a
delivered duty-paid basis to Europe and the United States,
stable week on week.
Meanwhile, the battery-grade lithium carbonate spot price (min
99.5% Li2CO3) was assessed at $13-15 per kg on a delivered
duty-paid to Europe and the United States on Thursday 29
November, also unchanged from last week.
"The market remains very slow and we don’t
anticipate much activity until the end of the year because most
producers and consumers are currently negotiating contract
prices," a lithium distributor told Fastmarkets.
trade log for battery-grade lithium carbonate in China for
November includes all trades, bids and offers reported to
Learn more about
Fastmarkets’ lithium pricing methodology and
the latest lithium price spotlight here.
All lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide and lithium spodumene
prices are available in our Battery Raw Materials Market
Get a sample of the report here.