Benchmark lithium prices rise over 40% in January 2021 as LFP electric vehicle demand goes back to the future

Lithium carbonate prices have increased by over 40% within China in January 2021 on the back of continued surging lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery demand, the newest assessment from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (Benchmark) shows.

The midpoint, prevailing transacted price of the Benchmark Lithium Carbonate, Technical Grade, EXW China, ≥99.0% Li2CO3, increased by 41.35% to $8,375/tonne (RMB54,000/tonne).

Meanwhile, the midpoint, prevailing transacted price of the Benchmark Lithium Carbonate, Battery Grade, EXW China, ≥99.5% Li2CO3, rose by 41.04% to $9,450/tonne (RMB61,000/tonne).

George Miller, Lithium Analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said: 

“Lithium ion battery related policy incentives in China are geared towards subsidising shorter-range vehicles, public transport fleet electrification, 5G power stations, all of which encourage LFP consumption.

“It’s back to the future for lithium in China.

“Demand for durable, improved, and low cost LFP cathode material has become rejuvenated in China – a very similar story to what we saw in lithium’s last price run of 2016 but with a much improved product for the 2020s.

“Although this surging price trend has largely been confined to lithium carbonate within China, this has had a knock-on effect elsewhere, drawing up lithium carbonate prices out of South America by 10%, and 6% for spodumene feedstock in Australia.”

Benchmark’s Lithium Price Assessments: Get access now. 

Benchmark produces the lithium industry’s reference price each monthly to strict, lithium-specific methodologies.

As a result of our specialist and trusted price data and analysis, we enable the industry to transact lithium contracts, negotiations and fund raising activities as the electric vehicle and energy storage supply chains scale.

Benchmark assesses data and sets lithium prices each month for 6 lithium carbonate, 4 lithium hydroxide and 1 spodumene feedstock grade.

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