After several months of diminishing value, lithium carbonate prices experienced a resurgence today. Data reveals that the average cost of battery-grade lithium carbonate has risen to $24,450 per ton, marking an increase of $525 per ton.
The prior continuous drop in lithium carbonate prices was primarily attributed to faltering sales among downstream new energy vehicle companies. This, combined with the expansion of production by midstream battery manufacturers and an excess of inventory amid stockpiling, contributed to the decline.
Industry insiders have indicated that the stabilization of lithium carbonate prices is closely tied to the rate at which midstream battery manufacturers deplete their inventories. Some experts suggested that by mid-April, battery manufacturers’ inventory levels should gradually normalize, prompting the procurement of upstream materials and supporting lithium carbonate prices.
Aside from lithium carbonate, other materials within the lithium battery sector are also demonstrating signs of price stabilization. Previously, the industry-wide overcapacity crisis, prompted by rapid production expansion, led to declining recycling prices for lithium hexafluorophosphate and synthetic graphite.
However, material price data shows that the decrease in prices for key battery materials has lessened. For instance, the mainstream market price of lithium hexafluorophosphate fell from $24,000 per ton in March to $15,000 per ton, with an average daily decrease of nearly $300 per ton. Since April, the price has dropped from $15,000 per ton to $12,750 per ton, with an average daily decrease of nearly $150 per ton. Meanwhile, the price of low-end synthetic graphite has held steady at $3,600 per ton after falling from $4,500 per ton in February to $3,900 per ton.
On the battery recycling front, recycling price coefficients for ternary cathodes, ternary electrode powder, and lithium iron phosphate black powder have been stabilizing since April, with the ternary electrode powder even experiencing a temporary price increase.
These changes in material prices signify that the overcapacity shadow caused by periodic fluctuations in the lithium battery industry is fading, and the price-setting impact of materials is becoming more prominent. Supported by the resurgence of new energy vehicle production and sales data in February and March, the downstream power battery market remains robust, and the lithium battery industry’s recovery may be imminent.