China's new energy vehicle market demand has grown rapidly, leading to stronger demand for ternary and iron-lithium materials. The global supply of nickel and cobalt raw materials is tightening, and the increase in downstream demand will support the rise of lithium prices in 2021.
On the other hand, the rising battery installed capacity supports the rebound in lithium carbonate prices. Prices of lithium carbonate have bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2020, and upward trend is likely to follow in the first quarter of 2021.
On the raw materials front, South Africa has tightened its COVID-19 prevention measures imposing Level III lockdowns as the pandemic has worsened, triggering concerns about supply of cobalt raw materials. China’s cobalt raw materials imports in December 2020 and January 2021 are likely to decline to 7,900 mt and 6,400 mt respectively, due to the Christmas and New Year holidays, decreased port capacity, and rising logistics prices. As the global supply of cobalt raw materials is tight, this is likely to further lift prices of cobalt series products.
In this webinar session our cobalt-lithium analyst will review on the China new energy and upstream raw material industry, as well as the market outlook for 2021.