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Battery Summit 2022 (1/14) Lithium price exceeds record high of $ 50, Beijing Antaike

01/27/2022 14:53 FREE

At the Battery Summit held at the Gakushi Kaikan on January 14, 2022, Beijing, China will also provide a video presentation in English from Beijing Antaike Information Co., Ltd. Received. This article is a brief summary of what you've heard.

 

→ (Related article) Battery Summit 2022at Gakushi Kaikan (1/14) EventReport Vol.1

 

The presentation, entitled "Current status and outlook of China's battery metal market," is a major presentation on the Chinese battery metal market: 1. Overview, 2. Analysis, 3. Outlook. It proceeded in three parts. The presenter is Yu Yakun, an analyst in the lithium division of Antai Department.

 

 

1. Overview

2021 was a hot topic for the battery industry as a whole, with price increases to varying degrees, from raw materials and auxiliary raw materials to additives. Among battery metals and raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel, supply shortages and rising prices continue. Regarding the price increase, lithium carbonate, which recorded an increase of 428% in 2021, was the largest, and lithium hydroxide increased by 340%. This is followed by cobalt (up rate of 115% in 2021) and nickel (up rate of 23% in 2021). The price of lithium carbonate continues to rise into 2022, about to exceed US $ 50 per kilogram.

 

 

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In addition, as the demand for battery metal increases, there is a gap in the supply-demand balance. With lithium, this gap reaches 7%, which has a significant inventory adjustment effect. The smelter is basically low stock or no stock. Looking at the world, it seems that in 2021, there was a gap of 15kt between the supply and demand of lithium in the world.

 

 

graph

 

 

In 2021, the total demand for lithium batteries in the Chinese market will increase by 74% from the previous year to over 200 Gw / h. The ratio of power batteries to the total demand for lithium batteries is expected to increase year by year, accounting for 65% in 2021 and about 70% in 2022. The energy storage field will grow significantly in 2021, and it is expected that it will continue to grow at an annual rate of 55%.

 

About LFP batteries. In China, the installed capacity of LFP batteries exceeded NCM in July 2021, and the cumulative installed capacity exceeded NCM in November. Production also gained momentum, up 196% year-on-year, and China's LFP production reached 435 kt in 2021. In addition, it was said that there are various factors behind the revival of LFP batteries, but the main one is OEM cost reduction. By reducing subsidies and eventually eliminating subsidies, automakers need to reduce the cost of EV production by using LFP batteries. At the same time, we must not forget the recent improvement in LFP battery technology. It was that the energy density was greatly improved.

 

 

2. Analysis

·Nickel

The dissolution of nickel greatly supplemented the production of nickel sulfate in China. China's nickel sulfate production in 2021 was 1.27 million tons, a 96% increase. The composition of nickel sulfate raw material is relatively significantly different between 2020 and 2021, and the new production increase of MHP (nickel-cobalt mixed hydroxide) is limited, so the main raw material for nickel sulfate this year is nickel beans. It was nickel powder.

 

 

graph

 

 

・Cobalt

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), although the production of cobalt raw materials increased by 11% from the previous year, the impact of the new corona may cause intermittent interruptions in port transportation and reduced transportation efficiency. In particular, the supply of cobalt raw materials is tight due to lack of logistics. In China, some refined cobalt companies have begun to digest raw materials in stock, and some companies have inadequate utilization rates.

 

 

・Lithium

Comparing the production of Spojumen concentrate in WA, Australia and the smelting capacity of China (see figure), the lithium smelting capacity of China has increased rapidly since 2019, while the smelting capacity of Spojumen has increased due to the decline in lithium prices. It can be seen that the production volume of lithium is decreasing and the difference is gradually widening.

 

 

graph

 

 

3. Outlook

Under China's dual carbon target, new energy will continue to benefit. The market for ESS (Energy Storage System) and EV is expected to continue expanding, and along with this, the demand for metal for batteries will continue to grow significantly.

 

The figure below shows the demand (forecast) for power battery terminals in China from 2016 to 2025. Over the last five years, volume has exploded and policy stimuli have accelerated the development of the power battery market, while over the next five years, policy subsidies have declined and instead overall ecology. It is expected that the development of the chain will be improved.

 

 

graph

(The above figures and graphs are all from the presentation materials)

 

 

Regarding the subsidy, specifically, the new energy vehicle purchase subsidy in 2022 is planned to be reduced by 30% from the previous year, and it is scheduled to end by the end of 2022. In other words, the EV market in China will shift from policy guidance to market leadership.

 

In the future, it is expected that the demands for energy density, main parts, and material quality of NEV (new energy vehicle) batteries will increase more and more, and will the low-end lithium battery production capacity be gradually reduced?

 

Finally, keep an eye on the output gap for lithium, nickel, cobalt, etc. Especially for lithium, which has the largest gap, it was stated that such a supply-demand mismatch remains the core driving force behind the rise in lithium prices. Conversely, nickel could be oversupplied in the future. Indonesia's MHP and high nickel mats will continue to expand into China for the next two years, and it is expected that an effective supply of nickel for batteries will be formed in the Chinese market. The supply and demand aspect of cobalt continues to improve, and if the supply of raw materials increases, supply chain problems will be gradually alleviated.

 

 

(IRUNIVERSE AC)

 

 

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