TD: The expected production of EV+ ESS batteries fell by 20.4% MoM in February

In 2023, China's EV sales reached 9.5 million, of which 6.7 million BEVs were sold and 2.804 million PHEVs were sold, exceeding the target of 9 million sale in the policy<Work Plan for Steady Growth of the Automotive Industry (2023-2024)>.

1) Lithium battery production in Feb is expected to decline by about 20.4% MoM

Dadong Times through industry's Top10 battery factory survey data show that in February 2024, the battery factory power + energy storage output of 32.86GWh, January output of 41.3Gwh, down about 20.4%; The output of lithium battery A row is 20GWh, lithium battery B row is 7.5GWh, and lithium battery C row is 1.5GWh.

Dadong Times survey results show that by the Spring Festival holiday and the impact of 2 days in February, the operating rate of lithium battery enterprises will be reduced, it is expected that the overall operating rate in February is 38%, and the battery production in February will be maintained at a low level. In the state of continuous losses in the industrial chain, it is expected that the average price of China's NCM battery and LFP battery (without tax) will fall to 0.48 CNY /Wh and 0.40 CNY /Wh respectively in February.

2)ESS battery output will decline by more than 40% in Feb

In February 2024, oversupply of energy storage batteries in China will remain the main tone of the market, and production capacity will still be higher than demand. Dadong Times expects that in February 2024, ESS battery output will decline by more than 40%, and the decline will exceed that of EV battery. It is expected that in February, the average price of ESS cells (without tax) of two and three tier manufacturers will hover at 0.35-0.37 CNY /Wh, and disorderly price competition will continue. According to the survey results of Dadong Times, renewable energy storage products equipped with 314Ah large-capacity cells are expected to achieve small-batch supply in February 2024, and energy storage cells and PCS will usher in technological upgrades, but 280Ah large-capacity cells and system products are still the mainstream products in the field of power storage.


3) The price of lithium carbonate in February is expected to remain at the bottom of 85-90,000 CNY/ton

As of January 29, the average price of battery grade lithium carbonate was 98,300 CNY /ton, and the average price of industrial grade lithium carbonate was 83,000 CNY /ton. Australia's listed Lithium mining company Core Lithium announced on December 22, 2023 that its lithium mine Mt Finiss had reduced production and suspended long-term capital expenditure, and announced on January 5, 2024 that its lithium mine Mt Finiss had suspended the mining. Several Australian mining companies, including Greenbushes, have announced production cuts/shutdowns in the past two months.

Since the New Year, the domestic lithium carbonate price has been hovering around 100,000 CNY/ ton, thanks to downstream replenishment and battery factory demand in February, the overall transaction has improved from the previous period. Affected by news such as production cuts and project delays in high-cost mines in Australia, the recent price of overseas lithium mines has also gradually stopped falling and stabilized, and the increase in consolidated shipping prices (Australia and New Zealand route) has supported the current price of lithium carbonate. Dadong Times expects that it is difficult to "see" the bankruptcy among the mining companies in the short term, and lithium carbonate prices will be difficult to significantly fall below the cost curve. Demand is expected to really pick up at least until April 2024, so before a significant recovery in demand, lithium carbonate prices are expected to remain at the bottom.



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