COVID Impact and Government Regulations Ease the Offers for Rare Battery Minerals
- 25-Apr-2022 4:51 PM
- Journalist: Nina Jiang
As the COVID resurfaced in China, a new wave of market sentiments hit the logistics and operations throughout the region. The freight traffics at the major ports across China exceeded by an average of 500%. Currently, China is facing the worst pandemic wave in the last two years that gyrated the complete market dynamics amidst the disruption in the supply chain. The pressurized supplies for auto parts and transportation hurdles forced some vehicles manufacturers to slow down their operational rates.
The battery makers and refiners are also experiencing logistical issues, as most northeastern and eastern regions face strict norms and lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID across the region. The lockdown measures in China have weighed on its supply chain as the transportation has remained disrupted since March. A major manufacturer informed that even the production rates were regular at several facilities. The transportation issues are the primary concern that clouded the producer's mind, followed by the slower onloading and offloading activities across the regions.
In the last year, the prices for the battery raw material such as Lithium Carbonate and Lithium Hydroxide witnessed explosive growth last year, which sparked the overall CAGR% for the Chinese and Global EV market in the forthcoming period. In addition, it also supported the sudden and robust growth of rare earth metals such as Lithium and Nickel. Since the push towards the rapid transition towards a greener economy, it has been witnessed that the competitiveness amongst the market player and conglomerates steeply soared to capture the larger market share. After the maintenance period, the Chinese Lithium Carbonate manufacturers have recovered the output efficacy. In contrast, the brine production is anticipated to recover as the weather increases in the region, and the domestic players are also expanding their capacities and introducing new projects.
As per ChemAnalyst, the latest developments are unlikely to narrow the supply-demand curve in the near term. However, the prevailing sentiments in the domestic market levy a profound impact on the quotation of the producers of the battery raw materials as the prices witnessed a plunge straight for three weeks after the government intervened to ensure the sustainable transition towards a greener economy. At the same time, with relief in the cost support from the feedstock and curtailed demand from the downstream, the quotations for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate observes a steep plunge.