This week witnessed a decline in lithium carbonate prices, with notable shifts in various grades. The average price for 99.5% battery-grade lithium carbonate experienced a considerable drop of RMB13,000/ton, resting at RMB263,000 /ton. This marked a 4.71% decrease in comparison to the previous year. Similarly, the average price for 99.2% industrial-grade lithium carbonate witnessed a decline of RMB12,000/ton, settling at RMB249,000 /ton. This translated to a month-on-month reduction of 4.6%.
In tandem with this trend, prices for lithium hydroxide also experienced a reduction this week. Coarse-grained lithium hydroxide saw its average price slide by RMB10,000/ ton, resulting in a new price point of RMB255,000 /ton. This shift represented a month-on-month decrease of 3.77%. Meanwhile, micronized battery-grade lithium hydroxide encountered a dip of RMB0.9 million/ton, culminating in an average price of RMB265,000/ton. This marked a month-on-month decline of 3.28%.
In the realm of raw materials, the performance of lithium ore prices exhibited variability over the course of this week. The average cost of imported lithium raw ore (Li2O: 1.5%-2%) encountered a decline of US$22.5/ton, settling at US$355.5/ton. This equated to a month-on-month reduction of 5.95%. Meanwhile, the average price for imported lithium pyroxene concentrate (Li2O≥5%) remained steady at US$3,500/ton, maintaining parity with the preceding month.
Shifting our focus to the domestic sphere, the average price of domestic lithium pyroxene concentrate (Li2O: 5.5%-6%) underwent a decrease of RMB300/ton, resting at RMB27,950/ton. This translated to a month-on-month decline of 1.06%. Concurrently, the average price of domestic lithium mica (2.5%) was recorded at RMB 8,150/ton, holding firm when compared to the previous month’s figures.
In the downstream segment, prices of ternary precursors experienced a decline during the current week. Notably, the average cost of ternary precursor 523 (poly-crystal) saw a reduction of RMB3500/ton, settling at RMB84,500/ ton. This marked a month-on-month decline of 3.98%. Similarly, the average price of ternary precursor 523 (single crystal) underwent a decrease of RMB2000/ton, reaching RMB83,000 /ton, which represented a decline of 2.35% when compared to the previous month. Furthermore, the average price of ternary precursor 622 observed a decrease of RMB2500/ton, resulting in a new valuation of RMB94,500/ton. This reflected a month-on-month reduction of 2.58%. Similarly, the average price of ternary precursor 811 experienced a dip of RMB2000/ton, reaching RMB106,000/ton, indicating a decline of 1.85% when compared to the preceding month.
Ternary material prices experienced a notable decline over the course of this week. Specifically, the average cost of ternary material 523 (poly-crystal) saw a significant reduction of RMB15,500 /ton, settling at RMB208,000/ton. This represented a substantial month-on-month decline of 6.94%. Similarly, the average price for ternary material 523 (single crystal) witnessed a considerable drop of RMB14,000/ton, reaching RMB214,500/ton. This translated to a month-on-month decrease of 6.13%. Likewise, the average price of ternary material 622 (poly-crystal) experienced a noteworthy decrease of RMB16,500/ton, culminating in a revised figure of RMB220,000/ton. This signified a month-on-month decline of 6.98%. Additionally, the average cost of ternary material 811 (poly-crystal) observed a reduction of RMB10,500/ton, reaching RMB253,500/ton. This reflected a month-on-month decline of 3.98%.
Lithium iron phosphate prices have experienced a decline this week. The average price of lithium iron phosphate power batteries saw a decrease of RMB 4,000/ ton, settling at RMB89,000/ton. This marked a month-on-month reduction of 4.3%. Similarly, the average cost of energy storage lithium iron phosphate witnessed a decline of RMB5,000/ton, reaching RMB84,000/ ton. This represented a month-on-month decrease of 5.62%.
Shifting focus to the customer end, power battery prices remained relatively steady throughout the week. The average price of square ternary power batteries stood at RMB 0.725/Wh, maintaining stability in comparison to the previous month. Correspondingly, the average price of lithium iron phosphate power batteries remained constant at RMB0.64/Wh, holding steady when contrasted with the figures from the previous month.
Anticipating the Future: Ongoing, lithium carbonate spot prices have sustained a downward trend. In the current week, the main LC contract has exhibited a horizontal trading pattern, hovering around RMB230,000/ton. However, forward contracts have demonstrated a minor rebound. Insights from the Passenger Transport Association reveal that wholesale sales of new energy passenger cars by manufacturers have been estimated at 750,000 units, showcasing a remarkable 34% year-on-year increase, albeit registering a 1% decline from the previous month. The cumulative wholesale sales for the year thus far have amassed to 4.3 million units, reflecting a robust 42% year-on-year growth. In the backdrop of last year’s elevated baseline figures, the domestic passenger car market encountered growth constraints in July, attributing it to the lingering pressure from such a comparison. In contrast, recent trends indicate a consistent upswing in the export volume of new energy passenger cars. As we approach the conclusion of the third quarter, which also signifies the conclusion of the consumption peak, the impending demand for incremental phases is poised to provide a boost to short-term futures prices of lithium carbonate.