- China’s battery-grade lithium carbonate
prices continued their uptrend on tight supply and bullish
- China’s industrial-grade lithium carbonate
prices rose on low material availability.
- China’s lithium hydroxide prices were
rangebound over the week.
- The Asian battery-grade lithium spot market made limited
fluctuations on thin trade.
- The lithium hydroxide spot price moved up in both the
European and United States’ markets.
China’s battery-grade lithium carbonate market
continued on its upward momentum at the start of December, with
prices increasing further as a result of tight supply and most
producers confident that prices would increase further,
Fastmarkets was told.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for
lithium carbonate, 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price
range exw domestic China was 42,000-45,000 yuan
($6,430-6,889) per tonne on Thursday December 3, up from
41,000-43,000 yuan per tonne the previous week.
"Battery-grade lithium carbonate prices keep moving up this
week. I heard more deals concluded at 44,000-45,000 yuan per
tonne and some even at 46,000 yuan per tonne if there was an
immediate need. Most suppliers are still targeting higher
offering prices due to the current tight supply situation," a
buyer told Fastmarkets.
"We’ve purchased sufficient material until
early next year and are in no hurry to buy. I think current
mainstream prices are in the range of 42,000-45,000 yuan per
tonne and I will hold a watchful attitude on the coming
market," a second buyer said.
"We’re offering above 47,000 yuan per tonne in
December for battery-grade lithium carbonate because current
supply on our side is still tight. I think prices will move
even higher to around 50,000 yuan per tonne in January 2021," a
China’s technical and industrial-grade lithium
carbonate market also moved up further this week due to low
material availability, with most offers up to 41,000 yuan per
tonne or even higher, sources said.
Fastmarkets assessed the Chinese technical and
industrial-grade lithium carbonate spot price at 37,000-39,000
yuan per tonne on Thursday, rising from 36,000-37,000 yuan per
tonne on November 26.
"Currently it’s hard to find spot material and
most sellers are offering higher prices. I planned to book some
material but was told there was none," a trader said.
The battery-grade lithium hydroxide market showed no obvious
upward signs this week and most prices were still within the
current range due to slow domestic demand, although some
suppliers tried to increase prices slightly to test the market,
Fastmarkets’ lithium hydroxide monohydrate, 56.5%
LiOH.H2O min, battery-grade spot price range exw domestic
China was at 41,000-46,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday
December 3, flat week on week.
"Battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices haven’t
made increases as great as the carbonate sector due to
unpicked-up demand, while some producers try to increased
offering prices slightly to test the market," a third buyer
Asian seaborne lithium market
The battery-grade lithium spot market cif China, Japan and
Korea showed no fluctuation this week with most prices
unchanged amid limited spot activity, although some lithium
carbonate suppliers made offers at the high end of the current
range, sources said.
Fastmarkets assessed the
lithium carbonate, 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot
price at $6-7.50 per kg on a cif China, Japan and Korea
basis on Thursday December 3, unchanged from the previous
seaborne battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, 56.5%
LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, spot price, cif China, Japan and
Korea was assessed at $8.50-9.50 per kg on Thursday,
unchanged from a week ago.
"Offer prices for battery-grade lithium carbonate are starting
to push higher slightly due to firmer technical-grade material.
We’re offering around $7 per kg for material," a
second producer said.
Asian industrial-grade lithium spot prices firmed up this
week with most prices rising after suppliers were unwilling to
sell at cheaper prices amid low supply and increased
Fastmarkets assessed the lithium carbonate 99% Li2CO3 min,
technical and industrial grades, spot price cif China, Japan
and Korea at $5-6 per kg on Thursday December 3, up from
$4.80-6 per kg week on week.
"There aren’t many spot sellers for technical
material because most capacity has already been allocated. Most
offer prices are at least at $5.50 per kg or even higher," a
third producer said.
Europe, US lithium hydroxide spot market trends
The Europe, US battery-grade lithium hydroxide spot price moved
up in the seven days to Thursday December 4 on a spot deal
heard above $11 per kg for delivery to Europe and amid upward
movements in the equivalent technical-grade lithium hydroxide
market in the region.
Fastmarkets assessed the
lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery
grade, spot price ddp Europe and US up by 6.4% over the
week while it widened at the top end of the range to $9-11 per
kg on Thursday December 3 from $9-9.80 per kg the previous
lithium hydroxide monohydrate 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, technical and
industrial grade, spot price ddp Europe and US was assessed
higher at $7.50-8.20 per kg on December 4, narrowing on the low
end from $7-8.20 per kg after it had remained unchanged for the
previous eight weeks.
"The [technical-grade] hydroxide market is getting tighter in
Europe because most of it is sourced from Russia where
producers are raising offers on an increase in technical-grade
lithium carbonate - [feedstock in the production of lithium
hydroxide] - the cheaper [lithium carbonate] the Russian
suppliers were getting in the summer is no longer available and
the increase in prices is filtering through the value chain,"
an upstream source active in Europe said.
In the lithium carbonate market, Fastmarkets assessed the
lithium carbonate 99% Li2CO3 min, technical and industrial
grades, spot price ddp Europe and US at $5.80-7 per kg on
Thursday December 4, unchanged for 12 consecutive
"I received an offer for technical-grade lithium carbonate from
China at around $6.25 per kg on a cif Europe basis. Prices for
material sourced from China are increasing on rising freight
costs for that route. Prices below $6 per kg on a ddp basis in
Europe are still achievable because South American producers
are able to offer those prices for large volumes," a
distributor active in Europe said.
Learn more about Fastmarkets’
lithium pricing methodology here and read the latest
lithium price spotlight here.
Fastmarkets’ trade log for battery-grade lithium
carbonate in China for November includes all trades, bids
and offers reported to Fastmarkets.
All lithium carbonate, hydroxide and spodumene prices are
available in our Battery Raw Materials Market Tracker. Get a sample
of the report here.