With the rapid release of demand for new energy vehicles, the power battery, which is the heart of new energy vehicles, is encountering a new round of imbalance between supply and demand.
Since October last year, the prices of important raw materials for power batteries such as lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, and electrolyte have continued to soar, which has now been transmitted to the cost of power batteries, with an increase of about 20%-25%.
The upstream of the power battery industry chain is mainly the mining end, including the mineral industry of nickel, cobalt, manganese, lithium, graphite and other battery raw materials. Midstream companies are battery materials companies, including the production of direct materials such as positive electrodes, negative electrodes, electrolytes, and separators. The company and downstream companies are power battery manufacturers such as CATL and BYD.
On October 11, the raw material supplier issued a conditional letter announcing an increase of RMB 100,000 per ton for the full range of lithium metal products from October 12. The supplier's explanation of its price adjustment stated that this was due to the continuous increase in raw material prices. Material prices and power supply impact, leading to a significant increase in the cost of lithium metal
The average daily price of lithium metal has risen by nearly RMB 3,000/ton. The price of cobalt metal soared by 60%. The price of the most important lithium raw material in lithium batteries has risen even more. Since November 2020, the price of lithium metal has risen rapidly. As of October 26, the average spot price of lithium metal was RMB 955,000 /ton, an increase of RMB 49,000/ton from the end of November 2020, an increase of 105.4%.
In addition, the prices of various lithium raw materials, such as lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, and electrolyte, have risen to varying degrees, some of which have risen by more than 200%. The price of lithium carbonate at the beginning of the year was RMB 57,000/ton. As of October 26, the average price of lithium carbonate has reached RMB 192,500/ton, an increase of 238%. In addition, the price of lithium hexafluorophosphate rose from RMB 110,000/ton to RMB 500,000/ton, an increase of more than 355%; lithium battery raw materials such as electrolyte have increased substantially in varying degrees.
According to GGII calculations, affected by the price increase of raw materials, the theoretical cost of batteries and battery systems has risen by more than 30%, and the pressure on battery companies has increased.
Some people worry that the continuous increase in raw material and battery prices may lead to battery shortages and even increase the price of electric vehicles.