Chinese Lithium Market Sees Mixed Trends as Futures Volatility Influences Sentiment

by Jennifer

China’s lithium market witnessed divergent trends as lithium carbonate prices increased while lithium hydroxide prices dipped slightly amid varied demand dynamics.

In the seaborne CIF China, Japan, and Korea (Korea) markets, lithium prices remained stable over the recent week due to sluggish transactions.


Lithium Carbonate Market:

The spot lithium market in China remained stable with inactive spot transactions, with prices largely rangebound following volatility in the futures market. Slow spot transactions were attributed to most consumers having completed restocking prior to the holiday, coupled with unremarkable planned cathode production for June. Fastmarkets’ price assessment of lithium carbonate 99.5% Li2CO3 min, battery grade, spot price range exw domestic China rose to 110,000-114,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday, up by 3,000 yuan per tonne from the previous assessment.


Lithium Hydroxide Market:

The lithium hydroxide market experienced a slow week with limited spot purchases after the holiday. While prices were roughly steady, some consumers attempted to push down prices amid weaker nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) battery sector sentiment compared to the lithium iron phosphate battery sector. Fastmarkets’ price assessment of lithium hydroxide monohydrate LiOH.H2O 56.5% LiOH min, battery grade, spot price range exw domestic China widened downward to 97,000-110,000 yuan per tonne on Thursday, decreasing by 3,000 yuan per tonne from the previous assessment.

Spot Market Trends:

In the CIF CJK market, spot lithium prices remained unchanged with limited spot transactions post-Chinese holiday. While some market participants anticipated increased spot activities later in the month, others suggested a potential slight weakening in spot prices due to bearish sentiment and thin spot demand since Fastmarkets’ Asia Battery Raw Materials conference in Seoul, South Korea.

Europe and North America:

Spot lithium prices in Europe and North America remained stable amid an improved demand outlook, mirroring trends in the seaborne Asia market. Sellers maintained firm offer prices while monitoring developments in the more liquid seaborne Asia market.


The Chinese lithium market exhibited mixed trends influenced by futures market volatility, with lithium carbonate prices rising and lithium hydroxide prices dipping slightly amid varied demand dynamics and cautious sentiment.

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