Price trend of lithium battery materials in 2022 H1
Rapid development of China’s battery market in 2022
According to statistics, the shipment of 2022H1 power batteries in China increased by more than 150% year on year, the shipment of more than 200GWh, of which lithium iron phosphate batteries accounted for 56%, ter3 battery batteries accounted for 44%.
Shipments in the small power and digital battery markets were lower than expected, mainly due to higher prices of upstream raw materials and reduced market consumption due to the pandemic.After the backlog of early orders in the energy storage market, Q2 has received large-scale delivery of orders, with the shipment increasing by more than 2 times year-on-year. Despite the high price of the product, the demand for energy storage lithium batteries is still strong.
2022H1, From January to April, some battery enterprises were affected by the lack of supply of terminal raw materials and the epidemic, which led to the slowdown of capacity construction. After May, the market began to recover, and the expansion of production and contract signing of leading enterprises progressed rapidly. Several bases often started construction and conducted bidding at the same time.It is expected that by the end of the year, the new capacity of power battery batteries will hit a new high.
The market performance of the four major lithium battery materials is different
Cathode Materials Market: Driven by the rapid growth of power and energy storage market, 2022H1 shipments of terpolymer and lithium iron phosphate materials in China increased by 48% and 136% year-on-year.Due to the decline in the sales of terminal products, especially in the mobile phone and tablet market 2020H1, the shipments of lithium cobalate decreased by 20% year-on-year.Due to the rise in the price of lithium carbonate material, the product price has increased by more than 70%, and the product competitiveness has weakened compared with other materials, thus leading to a significant decline in product shipment.
The negative electrode, diaphragm and electrolyte fields are driven by the growth of the global new energy market, and the year-on-year growth of 2022H1 negative electrode, diaphragm and electrolyte is 69%, 53% and 64%, respectively.
The price of 2022H1 positive electrode materials is on the rise as a whole, with the year-on-year increase of lithium iron and lithium manganate exceeding 70%, three RMB more than 45%, and lithium cobalt acid more than 25%. The core reason is that due to the recovery of Q2 new energy vehicle market, the supply and demand of lithium salt industry is tight, which further pushes the price of lithium salt up, among which the price of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide has increased by more than 100%.
Lithium battery raw material cost drops – cobalt sulfate, manganese sulfate, 6F, VC prices drop significantly
Influenced by the significant release of production capacity, the average market price of lithium hexafluorophosphate-based products dropped from 550-580,000 RMB/ton at the beginning of the year to 20,000-250,000 RMB/ton at the end of June, and the average market price of VC products dropped from 450-500,000 RMB/ton at the beginning of the year to 100,000-150,000 RMB/ton at the end of June, resulting in the average price of electrolyte dropping to 60,000-80,000 RMB/ton. Only half of the price of 120,000 to 140,000 RMB/ton at the beginning of the year.
During the same period, cobalt sulfate and manganese sulfate materials with a larger decline in price fell by more than 20%. The price decline of a variety of main materials pushed the raw material cost of lithium batteries to decline in Q2.It is expected that with the release of more new production capacity of materials and the easing of the relationship between supply and demand, the raw material cost of 2022H2 lithium battery is expected to further decline, and the profitability of battery manufacturers is expected to improve.
The anode material of lithium battery may have excess capacity and the price will drop
Data show that the price of petroleum coke for negative anode (sulfur content 0.5%) was about 0.5-7,000 RMB/ton at the beginning of the year, and had exceeded 10,000 RMB/ton by the end of June 2022. During the same period, calcined petroleum needle coke increased from 10-12,000 RMB/ton to 14-15,500 RMB/ton, while the negative price increased by less than 10%.The negative price increase was mainly concentrated in Q1. Q2 was affected by the epidemic, and downstream demand slowed down in April and May, resulting in insufficient ability to pass on the cost of negative materials.
It is expected that the combined production capacity of Q2 and Q3 graphitization will exceed 300,000 tons/year. Combined with the production line debugging, slope climbing and other factors, Q4 is expected to reach full production.Therefore, the negative material market in the second half of the year may appear gradually excess supply and demand, price decline.
The proportion of dry separator application is expected to increase
By the end of June, the price of 12, 14 μdry diaphragm is 0.6-0.7 RMB/ping, and the price of 7, 9, 12 μwet diaphragm is 1.3-1.5 RMB/ping. The coating process of wet diaphragm is widely used, resulting in the average price of the product base film is more than 2.2 RMB/ping.The downstream battery factory is affected by the high price of lithium salt, and the pressure of cost reduction increases. At present, many enterprises such as power and energy storage have been accelerating the application of dry separator technology.It is expected that the proportion of dry diaphragm market application in the second half of the year is expected to continue to increase.