Author Robin Song
Updated May 03, 2024

Lithium carbonate

The price of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China exceeded RMB 114,000/MT in early April, dropped to RMB 110,000/MT, and rose back in late April. As of April 30, spot prices came in at RMB 110,000-113,000/MT, averaging RMB 111,500/MT, a 3.7% MoM increase. For Chinese lithium spodumene concentrate (SC6), CIF prices came in at USD 1,000-1,100/MT, averaging USD 1,050/MT at the month's end, a 2.8% MoM decrease.

After price fluctuations, lithium prices rose back due to news on supply and demand in late April. On the supply side, environmental factors affected lepidolite production in Jiangxi. Rumors suggest that the Yichun Ecology and Environment Protection Committee  requires lithium slag with an unclassified property of solid waste to be stored as hazardous waste.

For now, most lithium slag management fails to meet the new regulation, and corrective actions will drive up their production costs. The regulation will not take effect until September 1, 2025, but has led to a short-term increase in lithium prices. On the demand side, "tradein" policies across multiple provinces in China is have boosted the EV market, supporting lithium prices.

The lithium market will not stabilize in 2024. Oversupply will persist from 2024 to 2025. In the fourth quarter of 2024, lithium prices will approach RMB 90,000/MT towards the industry’s marginal cost.


Energy-storage cell

LFP energy-storage cell prices in China remained steady, with signs of rising. As of April 30, 280 Ah LFP energy-storage cell prices reached RMB 0.32-0.40/Wh, averaging RMB 0.36/Wh, the same as last month. For 100 Ah LFP energy-storage cells, prices increased to RMB 0.39-0.44/Wh, averaging RMB 0.415/Wh, a 1.2% MoM increase.

280 Ah cells still take up most of the market, while utility-scale energy-storage projects transition product selection, with 314 Ah cells seeing a penetration rate of 15%. Prices of the two products only vary slightly. As the delivery deadline of June 30 nears, some Tier-2 manufacturers received more orders, allowing higher utilization rates. Accordingly, sales prices increased from RMB 0.32/Wh to RMB 0.35/Wh. Some manufacturers did not raise prices in April but will do so in early May. 

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. The total production cost (including sales, management, and manufacturing costs, excluding factory depreciation) remains RMB 0.327/Wh. Some Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers still offered price quotes close to the break-even point and maintained utilization rates below 20% due to insufficient order volumes. Quality improvement will be the foremost consideration of manufacturers in 2024.

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

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