EV battery prices plummet in May, says TrendForce

EV battery prices in May, TrendForce report

The price of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide in China in May skyrocketed from less than CNY 200,000/ton (~USD 28,000) to over CNY 300,000/ton (~USD 43,000), TrendForce says.

The ASP of battery-grade lithium carbonate surged by more than 28 percent, hitting CNY 254,300/ton. In contrast, battery-grade lithium hydroxide saw a 4 percent drop in ASP to approximately CNY 254,900/ton in May. The price differential between these two types of lithium salts has now been significantly reduced.

Despite the sharp increase in lithium salt prices boosting battery cell costs, this hike hasn’t yet translated into an immediate rise in li-ion battery prices. The prices of other crucial li-ion battery materials, such as cathode precursor materials, anode materials, separators, electrolytes, and PVDF, are facing downward trend. This combination of factors has led to a continued decline in li-ion battery prices throughout May, TrendForce says.

There was a 9 percent price drop in EV square ternary cells, LFP cells, and pouch ternary power cells, settling at CNY 0.75/Wh, CNY 0.67/Wh, and CNY 0.79/Wh, respectively.

In the energy storage cell market, prices dropped by 12.6 percent to CNY 0.65/Wh, with demand in the LFP storage cell market rebounding well, particularly due to increase in orders from leading companies.

In the consumer battery cell market, prices fell by 11.5 percent, with LCO cells pried at CNY 7.55/Ah. However, with consumer markets picking up and an expected surge in e-commerce sales in June owing to the 618 shopping day festival, LCO cells are likely to see a price rebound.

In May, lithium salt prices began surging — at its peak rising by CNY 10,000/ton per day. Multiple factors contributed to this irrational price increase, which is not a result of a rapid surge in actual demand, but a steady recovery. June is expected to be a period of peak market demand, TrendForce said.