Author Robin Song
Updated April 01, 2024

Lithium carbonate

The price of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China slowed down increase after exceeding RMB 100,000/MT, then RMB 110,000/MT in early March, coming in at RMB 106,000-109,000/MT as of March 29, averaging RMB 107,500/ MT, an 8.6% month-on-month increase. For Chinese lithium spodumene concentrate (SC6), CIF prices rose to USD 1,020-1,150/MT, averaging USD 1,085/MT at the month's end, a 21.9% month-on-month increase.

Short-term lithium prices saw fluctuations due to disruptions on the supply front. Earlier in March, production cuts in Australia and the suspension of lepidolite production in Jiangxi due to environmental factors resulted in market expectations for tight supply, driving lithium spot prices to rise continuously. In the second half of March, buyers still purchased as much as their inelastic demand, showing little acceptance for higher prices. Meanwhile, tight supply eased as some lepidolite manufacturers in Jiangxi resumed production, and the 16,000-MT lithium carbonate imports from Chile will arrive soon. As a result, prices dropped back.

Supply chain disruptions will persist intermittently throughout 2024. However, demand is not likely to increase significantly. Due to the oversupply, lithium carbonate price trend will return to the fundamentals, reflecting actual supply-demand dynamics. InfoLink maintains the estimation of average battery-grade lithium carbonate prices at RMB 78,000/MT (value-added tax excluded) in 2024.

Energy-storage cell

LFP energy-storage cell prices in China kept dropping, reaching RMB 0.32-0.40/Wh for 280 Ah LFP energy-storage cells as of March 29, averaging RMB 0.36/Wh, an 8.3% month-on-month decrease. For 100 Ah LFP energy-storage cells, prices fell to RMB 0.38-0.44/Wh, averaging RMB 0.41/Wh, a 7.3% month-on-month decrease.

As utility-scale energy-storage projects transition product selection, 280 Ah and 314 Ah cells coexist in the market but trade at similar prices.  Meanwhile, Tier-2 manufacturers maintain aggressive pricing strategies, offering price quotes of RMB 0.35-0.36/Wh and RMB 0.32-0.33/Wh for small-volume and bulk orders, respectively. Leading manufacturers offer price quotes RMB 0.04-0.05/Wh higher than their Tier-2 peers, displaying evident advantages.

Based on statistics from the Global Lithium-lon Battery Supply Chain Database of InfoLink, the direct material cost of 280 Ah LFP energy-storage cells currently comes in at around RMB 0.271/Wh due to the constantly diminishing material prices. The total production cost (including sales, management, and manufacturing costs, excluding factory depreciation) is RMB 0.327/Wh, a 3% decrease from February.

Currently, Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers offer price quotes close to the break-even point, resulting in slim, even negative profit margins. With advantages in cost control and product pricing, leading manufacturers have left them further behind. In 2024, Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers will focus on more lucrative non-China markets to survive. However, expansions in non-China markets challenge their global operation capability and resilience against geopolitical risks, which are exactly what they lack. Hence, this round of price war will eliminate those less competent to expand overseas and have smaller financial reserves.

Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Database 2024

Database contains the global lithium-ion battery market supply and demand analysis, focusing on the cell segment in the ESS sector. We compile detailed data on various businesses' capacity, production, and shipments, as well as segmenting the market applications such as FTM, BTM-C&I, and BTM-Residential.

Learn more
Global Lithium-Ion Battery Supply Chain Database 2024

為提供您更多優質的內容,本網站使用 cookies分析技術。若繼續閱覽本網站內容,即表示您同意我們使用 cookies ,關於更多 cookies 資訊請閱讀我們的 隱私權政策