GLOBAL LITHIUM WRAP: China’s battery-grade carbonate prices narrow downward
Published: Friday, 01 November 2019
Spot prices for battery-grade lithium carbonate in China narrowed downward this week while those for lithium hydroxide gained some stability.
Nearly all transactions for battery-grade lithium carbonate
were concluded below 60,000 yuan ($8,519) per tonne this week.
Downstream buyers were reluctant to accept higher prices, which
kept buying activity thin in the spot market.
- Battery-grade lithium carbonate prices narrowed
- Battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices stabilized amid
persistently weak domestic demand in China.
- The cif China, Japan & Korea prices remain flat.
- European and United States spot prices unchanged
Fastmarkets’ weekly assessment for lithium carbonate,
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price range exw domestic
China was 56,000-59,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday
October 31, down 1,000 yuan per tonne off the top end of the
preceding week’s 56,000-60,000 yuan per tonne.
"Some big producers insisted on 58,000-59,000 yuan per tonne
for battery-grade lithium carbonate, and lower prices of 56,000
yuan per tonne were also heard. But most producers were
unwilling to go any lower than these," a buyer source told
The technical and industrial-grade lithium carbonate market
held steady this week, with prices remaining at 45,000-48,000
yuan per tonne exw China.
Similarly, the battery-grade lithium hydroxide market was flat
with no improvement seen in downstream sectors and most
producers being firm with prices.
Fastmarkets’ weekly assessment for lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price range
exw domestic China was 58,000-63,000 yuan per tonne on
Thursday, unchanged week on week.
"Downstream demand for battery-grade lithium hydroxide in
China’s domestic market is showing no improvement.
We haven’t adjusted our prices this week," a
producer source told Fastmarkets.
Quiet Asian market
The Asian seaborne battery-grade lithium spot market was quiet
this week with limited spot transactions being concluded.
Though most transactions were done at prevailing prices, the
market remained under downward pressure.
Fastmarkets weekly assessment for lithium carbonate
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot prices cif China, Japan
& Korea was at $9-11 per kg on Thursday, unchanged for
a sixth week.
That for lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price cif
China, Japan & Korea was $11-13 per kg, also flat for a
"Spot prices in Asia’s seaborne market is
temporarily holding steady at the current range. Though there
were some lower offers, actual transactions are hard to come
by. Buying activity is still thin," a distributor source
European, US prices stable
The market in Europe and the US remained quite stable in terms
of spot prices and contract ones. But market participants noted
a typical lag for these regions in comparison with Asia.
Developments in the Asian market typically results in ex-Asia
prices following suit.
The weekly Fastmarkets assessment for lithium carbonate
99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price ddp Europe and
US was $11-13 per kg on Thursday, unchanged since May
That for lithium hydroxide
monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price ddp
Europe and US was $12.50-13.50 per kg, unchanged since
"The European market is holding steady for the moment, and no
one wants to be the first to crack. We are still being
watchful," a second producer source said.
"There is a lag with Asia," a third producer source said.
"There is little liquidity amid the ongoing bearish scenario,
but we expect the [Europe/US] prices to give in to further
declines, mirroring the downtrend in Asia."
Learn more about Fastmarkets’ lithium pricing
and read the latest lithium price spotlight here.
trade log for battery-grade lithium carbonate in China for
October includes all trades, bids and offers reported to
All lithium carbonate, hydroxide and spodumene prices are
available in our Battery Raw Materials Market Tracker. Get a
sample of the report