For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market showcased a bearish pricing trend throughout the first quarter of 2023 in the US domestic market. In January, the prices remained on a stable level due to wait-and-see sentiments amongst the downstream players, especially after the market activities in China temporarily shut amidst the Lunar New Year holidays. In February, the market prices plummeted amid adequate inventories of the product and sluggish demand for the product from the downstream Cathode Active Material (CAM) manufacturers in the domestic and overseas markets. In March, the prices declined further amidst inflationary pressure and increased interest rates by the central banks, due to which consumer sentiments deteriorated, and the demand outlook remained suppressed in the region. Throughout Q1, the cost support from the upstream Lithium Fluoride was weak in the North American market.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market showcased a bearish pricing trend in the Chinese domestic market. In the first month, the prices declined due to curtailed demand from the downstream Cathode Active Material (CAM) manufacturers. As per the market participants, the inventory levels were sufficient to support production throughout the first quarter of 2023. In the second month, the prices continued to drop as the demand outlook remained silent amid a drop in the procurement rates from the CAM manufacturers in domestic and international markets. In the last month, the prices dropped further amid weaker cost support from the upstream Lithium Fluoride. The demand was sluggish amid the wait-and-see attitude of end-use consumers. Thus, the offered quotes for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate FOB Qingdao settled at USD 20103 per tonne at the end of Q1 2023.
In the first quarter of 2023, the overall market prices of Lithium Hexafluorophosphate rode the downward trajectory in the European markets. In January 2023, the offered quotes plunged and moved similarly to the Asian market. In addition, the rising inflation and energy prices kept the operating rates restricted. In February, the prices dropped due to weaker demand from the downstream Cathode Active Material (CAM) manufacturers in the Asian markets leading to restricted exports of the product and uncertainties regarding the economic conditions. In March, the prices dropped further due to lacking market competitiveness from the Asian markets and the wait-and-see consumer market sentiments across the globe. Also, the manufacturing PMI fell in March due to a drop in new orders and lower input costs in the European region.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in North America stabilized after remaining on an upward trajectory, and the growth pace has dropped. This development has been majorly attributed to the slowdown in EV sales in the APAC region, further coupled with the drop in the cost support from the key feedstocks such as Lithium Hydroxide, Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid, and Pentachloride. The overall market sentiments for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate offers remained constant on a bullish run for most of the period. Although in November 2022, the discussions were consistently moved upwards and the cost support from the feedstock was sufficient to support the offered quotations in the domestic market. On a year-on-year basis, numerous market participants, such as Albemarle, stated that the organization had soared its profits by seven folds during the third quarter of 2022. As a ripple effect, the DDP USGC discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were assessed at USD 40312 per tonne in December 2022.
Overall, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the Asia Pacific region observed a slight slowdown in the latter half of the quarter. In the first couple of months, downstream manufacturers actively carried out the restoking activities. The market has been primarily impacted by the revocation of the state-sponsored New Energy Vehicle (NEV) subsidies. That concerned the domestic manufacturers regarding offtakes for cathode materials to counter the impact of the downstream slowdown regarding the procurement of raw material, affecting the offers for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate in the domestic market. As a ripple effect, the FOB Qingdao discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were assessed at USD 36517 per tonne in December 2022. At the same time, the far-east Asian market players have restricted the cash outflow from the organization to showcase a better financial performance on the annual report.
Overall, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the European region has witnessed mixed sentiments throughout the fourth quarter of 2022. In the first month, the offers have remained bullish on an upward trajectory prompted by the market rebound post-summer holidays. However, the drop in sales of EVs in APAC and soaring inflation with hiked interest rates have made the market players reluctant towards hasty buying streaks. In addition, the increment in the energy cost has substantially impacted the operating rates at the manufacturing facilities, curtailing the offtakes volumes by a considerable margin. As a ripple effect, the overall CFR Antwerp discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were assessed at USD 41146 per tonne in December 2022.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In the third quarter of 2022, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the North American region remained tightened. This development has been majorly attributed to the insufficient stocks at manufacturing facilities to offer in the spot market. In addition, the cost support from the key feedstocks such as Lithium Carbonate/Hydroxide has persistently improved, and the Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid has also staggered upwards. In addition, the fertilizer shortages and food crisis consistently pressure the quotes from an essential feedstock Phosphoric Acid. At the same time, the current production capacity against the active demand has widened by enormous margins, estimated showcased that 59 new mines with 45 KTPA production capacity of LCE were required with recycling to cope with the demand within this decade. As a ripple effect, the FOB Texas discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were assessed at USD 40600 per tonne in September.
Overall, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the Asia Pacific region remained persistent In an upward trajectory. This development has been majorly attributed to the curtailed operations loads or temporary shutdown in Tianqi Lithium and Yahua Lithium, two major Lithium derivatives manufacturing facilities in China, due to power rationing. The region faced extreme heat waves that led to a drop in water levels across major rivers in China, which proportionally impacted the overall hydropower generation that China facilitates in the domestic market. In addition, the cost supports the key feedstocks such as Lithium Hydroxide, and Anhydrous Hydrofluoric Acid hovered on a higher level against the persistent inquiries from the EVs automotive industries. At the same time, the currency fluctuations remained stagnant, and the CNY depreciated significantly against the USD, impacting the order volumes and quotations. As a ripple effect, the FOB Qingdao discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were settled at USD 38460 per tonne in September.
Overall, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the European region was muted for most of the quarter due to the prolonged summer holidays. The spot arbitrage and operation at the downstream manufacturing facilities remained subdued. The DDP Antwerp discussions for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate were assessed at USD 45960 per tonne during the quarter ending in September. The downstream manufacturers were more inclined to a long-term contractual talk rather than spot offtakes. In mid-September, as the market activities across Northwest Europe resumed, the European Union passed the "Critical Raw Material Act" to secure the supply of Lithium and rare earth metal. Its demand is anticipated to increase by five folds by 2030 to replace oil & gas in an ambition to become the climate-neutral continent. The Critical Raw Material Act will help focus on strategic applications, networking amongst the European agencies, a more resilient supply chain, and a solid & sustainable level playing field.
The North American market for Lithium Hexafluoprophosphate maintains bullish sentiments throughout the second quarter of 2022. The retaliatory sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S and the E.U has curtailed the supplies of the essential raw materials for the E.V. raw materials in the domestic market. The domestic players were forced to restrategize to source the raw material from other means. At the same time, several players in the E.V. market made necessary arrangements on a contractual basis to ensure the supplies of Lithium Hexafluorophosphate in the long run. In response, the competition amongst the domestic market participants has soared significantly, forcing the producers to hike the prices on the spot markets.
In the second quarter of 2022, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in the Asia Pacific observed an enormous plunge after the consistent increment in the offered quotations since the first quarter of 2021. The COVID shutdown suppressed this development in the market dynamics in Northeast China, where most E.V. manufacturing facilities were concentrated. In response, the market condition forced the automotive players to either reduce production or temporarily shut down operations amidst the shortage of essential auto parts. The impact propagated into all the upstream value chains forcing producers to drop the quotations for Lithium Hexafluorophosphate in the Chinese domestic market.
In the second quarter of 2022, the Lithium Hexafluorophosphate market in Europe remained in the staggering upward trend. The retaliatory sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S and the E.U has curtailed the supplies of the essential raw materials for the E.V. raw materials in the domestic market. The market players were hesitant to procure the Russian cargoes amidst the sanctions. Whereas COVID shut down in China provided adequate room for the European participants to obtain the shipments at feasible rates, most orders were delayed due to port congestion. Although due to the high inflation and high-interest rates, the overall market observes a significant dip in PMI of the Eurozone region.