Lithium Hydroxide Has Fallen, And Foreign Manufacturers Have Locked Up A Lot Of Capacity In The Lithium Industry

- Nov 06, 2019-

Once upon a time, the price per ton of lithium hydroxide was about 50,000 yuan higher than lithium carbonate, and the price of lithium hydroxide has been relatively stable before. Today, the price difference between lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate has been close to 10,000 yuan / ton, almost only the cost difference. The industry believes that this is mainly because the output of NCM811 battery is less, but the supply of lithium hydroxide is more.

On the other hand, however, overseas battery manufacturers have stepped up their big orders with the lithium mining giants to lock in the long-term contract. A number of foreign battery suppliers including LG and SKI have signed long-term orders with Tianqi Lithium Industry, which has locked in at least 41% of the company's Australian lithium hydroxide project. According to industry insiders, overseas battery manufacturers are targeting upstream supply based on trend decisions. The price difference between lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide has narrowed.

Lithium hydroxide also fell. According to the price index of industrial companies, the price of industrial grade lithium hydroxide has dropped from about 80,000 yuan/ton in early June to about 70,000 yuan/ton, which is more than 10%. Especially since September this year, the price has fallen by about 5%.

Battery grade lithium carbonate every reporter

Like lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide is also a midstream processing product of the new energy industry chain, which can be used to prepare battery cathode materials. Lithium iron phosphate batteries using lithium carbonate have always been the mainstream of power batteries in China, but its drawback is that low density leads to low battery life. As a result, the ternary battery with higher energy density and higher endurance has become the development direction of the power battery. Lithium hydroxide can be used to prepare a ternary positive electrode material.

The ternary power battery installed tide has stimulated the demand for lithium hydroxide, and the price difference between it and lithium carbonate has also been widened. Since the beginning of last year, the price of lithium carbonate has fallen, but the price of lithium hydroxide is still firm. At the beginning of this year, the price difference between lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide was still around 50,000 yuan / ton. However, by now, the spread between the two has narrowed to 10,000 yuan / ton.

In fact, due to the difference in quality and process, the cost of lithium hydroxide is originally higher than that of lithium carbonate, which is 5,000 to 10,000. The production of lithium hydroxide is mainly required for the sealing of the plant. Mok, chief analyst of True Lithium Research, said that if the cost factor is removed, the current market prices of lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate are almost the same.

Why is the price of lithium hydroxide, which was once popular, low?

Lithium hydroxide is mainly used in the production of NCM811 (battery). The actual manufacturers and production of NCM811 are now very small, while the supply of lithium hydroxide is significantly increased. Mokco and many industry insiders said that the lack of downstream demand and excessive supply are factors in the low price of lithium hydroxide. Zhang Jiangfeng, secretary general of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Lithium Branch, also told reporters that the safety and stability of the NCM811 is also a concern in the industry.

According to Longzhong Research, individual lithium hydroxide manufacturers have chosen to stop production due to lack of customers in the lithium battery industry. Overseas battery manufacturers lock long orders

Although the price of lithium hydroxide has dropped, the industry is still optimistic about the ternary battery, and the increase in the production scale of the ternary battery will really drive the demand for lithium hydroxide.

Foreign battery manufacturers have already cooperated with the lithium mining giants this year, locking in the long-term future.

On the evening of September 25th, Tianqi Lithium announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, TianqiLithium Kwinana Pty Ltd (hereinafter referred to as TLK), had signed a long-term supply agreement with Northvolt ETT AB (hereinafter referred to as Northvolt). The agreement stipulates that TLK sells lithium hydroxide to Northvolt, of which the average single-year lithium hydroxide product base sales volume is about 6% to 10% of the annual production capacity of the lithium hydroxide construction project in TLK Australia's Quinana region.

Earlier in March, TLK signed a long-term supply agreement with SKI and EcoPro BM Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Ecopro), stipulating that the total amount of lithium hydroxide product base sales in a single year will account for approximately TLK of the TLK Australia's Quinana region. Lithium construction projects will have an annual production capacity of 20% to 25%.

In August of this year, TLK signed a long-term supply agreement with LG Chem, Ltd (hereinafter referred to as LG Chemical), stipulating that the basic sales amount of lithium hydroxide products in a single year is not lower than the year after the production of lithium hydroxide construction project in TLK Australia's Quinana area. 15% of capacity.

It is not difficult to find that through the combined calculations, the four companies of Northvolt, SKI, Ecopro and LG Chemical have locked in at least 41% of the annual production capacity of the Tianqi Lithium quinas lithium hydroxide project.

High-quality power batteries use lithium hydroxide. Long-term customers usually have high customization requirements, and the requirements for quality stability, consistency, and impurities such as magnetic materials are very strict. Tianqi Lithium industry said.

Ink has analyzed: foreign manufacturers are making decisions based on trends, and they are locked in advance, so that they will not be squatted.