GLOBAL LITHIUM WRAP: China lithium prices down further on negative short-term outlook
Published: Friday, 19 July 2019
Battery-grade lithium prices in China decreased further in the week ending Thursday July 18 due to unimproved downstream demand, while most buyers were in no rush to buy more material due to current reduced cathode and battery production in China, buying only on a hand-to-mouth basis.
China’s battery-grade lithium carbonate price
declined further over the week ending on July 18 after few
producers maintained prices above 70,000 yuan ($10,178) per
- Battery-grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide prices
moved further down this week.
- Technical and industrial-grade lithium carbonate spot
prices in China stabilized.
- Prices for the rest of the world were unchanged week on
week on slow market activity.
Most downstream demand in China remains low due to lower
cathode and battery production as well as the current negative
short-term market outlook, leading consumers to buy on a
hand-to-month basis and hold lower levels of raw material
Fastmarkets assessed the lithium carbonate
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, exw domestic China, spot
price at 67,000-72,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday July 18,
down from 68,000-73,000 yuan per tonne on July 11.
"Producers, who are eager to sell, continue lowering prices
week on week to boost sales due to current slow demand, while
only a few producers are insisting on prices above 70,000 yuan
per tonne," a cathode maker told Fastmarkets. "We had no need
to purchase material this week," he added.
"We see battery-grade lithium carbonate produced from spodumene
offered as low as 68,000-69,000 yuan per tonne, while lithium
carbonate produced from mica - [a lithium-bearing mineral,
which is then concentrated and converted into lithium chemicals
such as lithium carbonate or hydroxide] - as low as 67,000 yuan
per tonne," a second cathode maker told Fastmarkets.
The technical and industrial-grade lithium carbonate market in
China stabilized this week after the small price drop two weeks
Fastmarkets assessed the Chinese domestic
lithium carbonate 99% Li2CO3 min, technical and industrial
grade, ex-works, spot market price at 59,000-65,000 yuan
per tonne on Thursday July 18, unchanged week on week.
The battery-grade lithium hydroxide market in China followed
the downward price trend in the lithium carbonate market,
moving down this week on slow market activity and reduced
volumes of cathode and battery production in China.
Fastmarkets last assessed the lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, exw domestic
China, spot price range at 75,000-81,000 yuan per tonne on
July 18, down from 78,000-83,000 yuan per tonne from the
Unchanged seaborne Asian prices
The seaborne Asian battery-grade lithium carbonate and
hydroxide spot markets remained unchanged week on week due to
slow market activity, which is typical of the summer period.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the lithium carbonate
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price was unchanged
week on week at $10.50-12 per kg, cif China, Japan and Korea,
on July 18.
Fastmarkets assessed the lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade spot price at
$13-15 per kg on Thursday July 18, also unchanged week on week,
on a cif China, Japan and Korea delivery basis.
"Prices for battery-grade lithium carbonate are around $11-12
per kg and hydroxide [prices] are around $13 per kg, cif South
Korea, but I have also heard some lower prices," a distributor
in South Korea told Fastmarkets.
"Our prices remained unchanged week on week on very slow market
activity," a lithium producer told Fastmarkets. "Our
battery-grade lithium carbonate price remains at $11 per kg
while the battery-grade hydroxide price is at $14 per kg."
Flat European and US prices
European and United States’ battery-grade lithium
carbonate and hydroxide spot prices were unchanged over the
pricing week due to the summer period keeping market activity
Fastmarkets last assessed the lithium carbonate
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price at $11-13 per
kg, ddp Europe and US, on Thursday July 18.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price
was at $13-15 per kg on July 18, on a ddp Europe and US basis
and also unchanged from the previous week.
"The lithium carbonate and hydroxide battery-grade spot markets
remain flat in Europe and the US due to the summer holiday," a
second lithium producer told Fastmarkets. "We
don’t expect much activity in the coming weeks due
to the holiday period."
"The market is flat due to the summer period in Europe and US,
so we have mainly tried to sell material in Asia but the market
seems slow there as well," a trader told Fastmarkets.
trade log for battery-grade lithium carbonate in China for
July includes all trades, bids and offers reported to
Learn more about Fastmarkets’
lithium pricing methodology here 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.