EV Battery Sector Holds Ground Despite Softening Lithium Salt Prices, TrendForce Reports


In a recent report by TrendForce, it has been revealed that the electric vehicle (EV) battery market in China has maintained its stability during the month of July, with a marginal decline observed in the prices of lithium salt. This market trend has been influenced by various factors, including the pricing of different battery cell types, changes in demand dynamics, and fluctuations in raw material costs. The analysis indicates that EV battery prices in China exhibited a consistent pattern in July. Notable were the prices of EV square ternary cells, LFP cells, and pouch ternary power cells, which showed minimal deviation from the prior month. Specifically, the prices were recorded at CNY 0.73/Wh, 0.65/Wh, and 0.78/Wh, respectively. This price stability coincides with relatively subdued demand in the EV sector, as highlighted by TrendForce’s research.

Conversely, the energy storage battery segment experienced a steady demand throughout the same period. The average price of these energy storage batteries underwent a modest decline of 1% on a month-on-month basis, reaching CNY 0.66/Wh. This decrease was primarily driven by the falling costs of LFP cathode materials. The ongoing overcapacity in China’s energy storage battery production has intensified market competition, leading to a gradual but consistent decrease in prices. Recent quotations for energy storage projects have even dipped below the 0.6/Wh mark.

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On another note, consumer batteries faced a weakening demand in the consumer electronics market in July. This trend prompted battery manufacturers to adjust their capacity utilization rates accordingly. Despite this trend, a slight increase in the price of cobalt metal prevented a significant drop in battery prices, maintaining a level of consistency with the previous month. However, experts predict that LCO battery prices are likely to continue their downward trajectory in the coming month, due to the slow decline in raw material prices (such as lithium salt and cobalt [II, III] oxide) and lackluster downstream demand.

TrendForce’s analysis further delves into the financial markets, highlighting the developments in lithium carbonate futures contracts on the Guangzhou Futures Exchange. While these futures prices initially experienced a notable decline, subsequent recovery was observed. Nevertheless, the overall trajectory remained downward when compared to the listing’s benchmark price. Correspondingly, spot lithium carbonate prices demonstrated a 5% month-on-month decrease in July.

The overarching assessment from TrendForce underscores a structural overcapacity present across multiple segments of China’s lithium-ion battery industry chain. This situation has contributed to downward pressure on supply chain prices. Notably, the price of lithium metal, a key determinant of supply chain costs, is gradually stabilizing, thereby reducing the likelihood of significant fluctuations. The listing of lithium carbonate futures has been recognized as a barometer for spot prices over the subsequent six months to a year. In the short term, experts anticipate a stabilization of price movements within the lithium-ion battery supply chain. However, TrendForce acknowledges the potential for a minor rebound in lithium salt prices during the peak demand period in the fourth quarter.

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