Turning point or false fire? Lithium battery materials market observation

by:CTECHi     2021-08-07

Affected by the international cold war and trade war, today's market is changing rapidly, not to mention the rigidity of technology. Whether it is a lithium mine or an electrolyte, the future is uncertain. Overseas lithium mines snapped up again. Recently, a number of overseas mining companies announced plans to acquire lithium mine projects in Congo, Chile, Brazil and other countries to enhance their competitive advantage in the field of lithium resources upstream of lithium batteries. Prospect Resources Australia announced that the company has signed an acquisition agreement with Congo J3 Mining Company to acquire 75% of its MalembaNkulu mining project; French mining company ErametSA also said it plans to acquire lithium mines in Chile, Argentina and Brazil, looking for cobalt, lithium, Mineral resources such as nickel salt; Hawkstone Mining Company of Australia decided to reconsider the acquisition plan of the US lithium project. At the same time, lithium battery companies including Tianqi Lithium, Baowei Holdings, China Mineral Resources, LG Chem and other lithium battery companies have also joined this overseas lithium mine rush to buy shares or sign long-term purchase and sales agreements with mining companies. Grasp overseas high-quality lithium resources to ensure a stable supply of lithium salt raw materials. The background of overseas mining companies and domestic lithium battery companies rushing to buy overseas lithium resources is that in recent years, with the rapid development of electric vehicles, the production and sales of power batteries have continued to expand, resulting in a tight supply of lithium resources and lithium salts, and prices have been high. No less. Under this circumstance, high-quality lithium mining companies have become the object of competition for capital from all walks of life. In 2017 alone, more than 20 Chinese companies deployed overseas lithium mining resources. However, with the gradual release of new domestic and foreign lithium salt production capacity and the impact of China's new energy subsidy policy adjustments, the price of lithium carbonate continued to show a downward trend in 2018. The price of lithium carbonate has fallen from the high price of 170,000 yuan/ton at the beginning of the year to 130,000 yuan/ton. About tons, a drop of more than 25%. The current market demand for lithium carbonate is weak, and the willingness to purchase downstream is not strong. In the second half of the year, the price of lithium may still show a downward trend. Industry analysts believe that the reason for this is that since the fourth quarter of 2017, the expansion of lithium salt projects including Ganfeng Lithium and Tianqi Lithium have been put on the market one after another. In 2018, the domestic lithium carbonate market supply situation has been greatly improved. Improvement, it is expected that there will be an oversupply situation in the future, leading to a decline in the price of lithium carbonate. On the other hand, affected by the adjustment of subsidy policy, the amount of subsidy is directly linked to battery energy density. High-energy-density ternary power batteries are popular in the market, and their market share is rapidly increasing, while lithium iron phosphate batteries are cold in the market and a large number The operating rate and order growth of power battery companies are not ideal, and the willingness to purchase lithium iron phosphate materials is not strong, resulting in a decline in the price of lithium carbonate. It is worth noting that although overseas lithium mining companies and domestic lithium salt giants are greatly expanding their production capacity, the global supply of high-quality lithium concentrate is still scarce. Under the requirement of increasing power battery energy density, high-quality lithium salt Still selling well in the market. At the same time, with the continuous growth of the new energy vehicle market, the global demand for lithium salt will further increase, which also provides a guarantee for the investment and expansion of lithium salt production enterprises. On the whole, the commissioning of new lithium resource projects, the uncertainty of new production capacity (especially high-end production capacity), and the lock-in of resources in the midstream and downstream links, have made the calculation of supply and demand in the lithium industry more complicated. Relevant data on the electrolyte industry or the current inflection point shows that benefiting from the rapid development of new energy vehicles, the future demand for electrolyte will grow at a high rate, or it will gradually show growth. It is estimated that by 2020, the domestic demand for lithium batteries is expected to reach 153GWh, corresponding to 227,000 tons of electrolyte demand. According to the 'Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Development PlanAs an important material for lithium batteries, the electrolyte accounts for about 4%-6% of the cost of lithium batteries. Benefiting from the rapid development of new energy vehicles, the future demand for electrolyte will grow at a high rate, which may gradually show growth. It is estimated that by 2020, the domestic demand for lithium batteries is expected to reach 153GWh, corresponding to 227,000 tons of electrolyte demand. Although state subsidies have declined year by year, the double-point policy relay has become a new driving force for the development of domestic new energy vehicles. In addition to the policy drive, the continuous launch of popular models that meet consumer needs will also drive the continued improvement of the new energy vehicle market. It is estimated that in 2020, the domestic production of new energy vehicles will reach 1.936 million. Due to the increase in the proportion of high-end models, the charge of bicycles will also increase. If considering the annual demand for replacement, lease or replacement of old batteries, it is estimated that by 2020, the domestic demand for power batteries will reach 104GWh. From the perspective of the application fields of consumer batteries, whether it is mobile phones, tablets or power tools, the penetration rate is relatively high, and the growth rate is expected to be stable in the next 3-5 years. According to comprehensive calculations, it is estimated that by 2020, the total domestic demand for lithium batteries will be 153GWh, and the corresponding electrolyte demand will reach 227,000 tons, with an average annual compound growth rate of 25% from 2018 to 2020. The decline in electrolyte prices since the first quarter of 2017 was mainly due to the price reduction of lithium hexafluorophosphate, and the price reduction of lithium hexafluorophosphate was due to the gradual homogeneity of products and the gradual oversupply. The industry will usher in three major changes in the future. First of all, small manufacturers will be gradually eliminated due to cost and technological disadvantages. The binding relationship between downstream battery companies and leading suppliers will accelerate the increase in concentration, and the electrolyte industry is expected to achieve rapid production capacity; secondly, the high-end power battery will bring With electrolyte upgrades, electrolyte manufacturers are expected to increase their profitability by developing new additives and providing formula services; third, domestic electrolyte manufacturers have scale and cost-effective advantages, and future expansion into overseas markets will bring incremental opportunities.

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