After entering 2021, the price adjustment letter of the power battery company.
Since January, Far East Battery, Zeng, Yili Lithium, Peng Hui, Hengdian Dongsheng and Drang can issue a price adjustment letter, hoping to increase the battery price.
“This is very rare, you must know that you can’t get there. General enterprises are unwilling to rise.” The relevant person in charge of a battery company said, “Can not rise, try not to rise, the price increase may lose client.”
“The car enterprise is still trying to criminalize.” The sales minister of another battery company said to the electric car observers, “the battery material has been rising, and the best result may be no price reduction.”
The price increase, the price cuts, the battery companies are tough support.
Battery material is highly high
The price increase is in the second half of last year, it is accurate to start in November.
Battery raw material
Source: business agency, SMM (Shanghai colored net) and visited
The market manager of a battery positive material company says that the increase in electric vehicle is more obvious, the main is the positive material and electrolyte, the main is lithium carbonate, precursor and lithium hexafluorophosphate. The negative electrode material is relatively stable.
(1) The price of lithium carbonate increases by more than 80%.
Lithium carbonate is a lithium battery positive material and an indispensable raw material. Lithium carbonate prices directly increase the cost of the positive material and the electrolyte.
It can be seen from the price graph from the business agency that last May and November is the low cereals of lithium carbonate: At that time, the epidemic is affected, the terminal demand is relatively cold, so the overall market is weak.
At the end of 2020, the price trend of battery-grade carbonate this year
2020 lithium carbonate price trend
With the second half of the year, the domestic epidemic has been controlled, and there is a significant sign of resuscitation in the end market. With the cold weather in winter, the production of lithium ore in Salt Lake is lowered, and the reduction in carbonate inventory and the growth of the demand in the electric vehicle market have continued to rise.
According to the data of the business agency, as of March 5, the price of lithium carbonate has soared to 87,000 yuan, and it has risen 80% compared to the price of 48,000 yuan last year.
(2) Sanyuan precursors rose 67% from the end of last year
The price of the three-yuan precursor is from 72,000 yuan in July 2020, rising about 120,000 yuan in March this year, rising 67%, belonging to a relatively small increase. The three-membered precursor can understand the semi-finished product of a tri-positive material material.
Mei Tuhai is a R & D and production enterprise of a three-yuan positive material and a three-yuan precursor. Its procurement manager Liang Lingchuan told the “electric vehicle observationer”. The rising positive material is completely caused by the deficiencies of raw materials. “Cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate on the market. The supply is in short supply, there is no raw material supply in production capacity. “
Three-yuan front drive 523 price trend
Source: SMM Shanghai Color Network
(3) Lithium iron phosphate oscillation upstream 24%
The growth of lithium iron phosphate positive material is started from January this year, especially in February.
According to the data of the business agency, as of March 5, the mainstream of the power-type lithium iron phosphate is 4.3 million to 24 million yuan / ton, and the price still has a rise.
Source: Business Hob; Note: Red Expression: Upper; Green Expression: Decline; K Pillar Heights: Rising Falls
Since January, lithium iron phosphate positive materials have been shocked to have more than 24%, and the future growth space is still unclear.
(4) Lithium hexafluorophosphate, insufficient supply of additives
Another rising raw material is lithium hexafluorophosphate, which is an important part of the electrolyte.
Due to the tension of supply, the price of lithium hexafluorophosphate has doubled. From the lowest 64,000 yuan / ton of 2020, it has risen to 115,000 yuan / ton in January 2021. As of now, lithium hexafluorophosphate has reached around 200,000 yuan / ton.
Xianghe Kunlun Chemical Co., Ltd. is an integrated supplier of electrolyte (electrolyte), and the Chairman Guo Yingjun has a deep supply of shortage of raw material shortages.
Guo Yingjun told the “Electric Vehicle Observer”, which is more tense than lithium hexafluorophosphate is the additive carbonate (Vc). “VC is an important additive in the electrolyte, which contributes to the SEI film formation, preventing the electrolyte from further reduction decomposition in the surface of the negative electrode.”
The supply of these raw materials is tight, causing them to pick up customers, increasing production is very cautious, exciting supply shortages to bring serious consequences to customers.
(5) Copper foil, cobalt, etc.
On March 3, the market data shows that the average price of 6μm copper foil and 8 μm copper foil rose to 117,000 yuan / ton, 103,000 yuan / ton, compared to 99,000 yuan / ton, 83,000 yuan / ton, 83,000 yuan per ton, 83,000 yuan / ton, respectively. The rose by 18% and 24% respectively.
Deng Yongkang, chief analyst of Anxin Securities and Power Equipment and New Energy, believes that from the supply and demand pattern of copper foil, from the supply and demand pattern of copper foil, the copper foil (processing fee) is still priced. The demands.
Cobalt prices have also risen sharply before the year, from 260,000 in December to 400,000 yuan in March, and there is currently a slight slide.
It can be seen that the battery raw material is convulsion.
However, Li Jigang, General Manager of Tianjin Scotland Technology Co., Ltd., believes that the rise of battery raw materials is calculated.
He reported a set of numbers to “Electric Car Observer”: “As of the end of February, 1,4-butanediol rose 200% year-on-year, n-butanol rose by 180%, sulfur rose by 153%. Lithium carbonate rose 70 %, Is already a product that is relatively low. “In the view of Deng Yongkang, this relatively low growth is mainly because the battery industry has limited capacity. “The positive material material can not be smooth, the battery company can’t stand.”
Li Jigang is also quite similar to Deng Yongkang. Li Jigang believes that battery costs will rise by about 20%. “If the material enterprise can bear, try to bear it, it is really impossible to withstand the level to pass downstream.”
As far as the “electric car observers” understands, most of the car companies have not received the price increase, and battery companies have rarely appear to the cargo enterprises.
Last year, this year’s inflation is expected
Why suddenly rose?
After communicating with raw materials suppliers and related experts, “electric vehicle observers” believe that the rise in raw materials in this round is mainly due to rising demand, the imbalance of supply and demand in the short term, and has insufficient capacity and inflation expectations.
The first is that new energy vehicles, electric two-wheeled cars, and electronic products are pulled.
China Automobile Association data shows that in 2020, the new energy automotive production and sales completed 1366 million vehicles, respectively, an increase of 7.5% and 10.9% year-on-year, and the production and sales volume has a new high.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the output of electric bicycle enterprises above my country is 29.66 million, a year-on-year increase of 29.7%.
China Motorcycle Chamber of Commerce, 2020, electric motorcycle sales is 22.954 million, an increase of 20.91% year-on-year.
In addition, smart equipment, 3C products are also growing rapidly, and also pulling the battery needs.
Second, the off-season is not light, and the short-term supply is mismatched.
Whether it is insufficient capacity, or the lack of raw materials, it is caused by the relationship between supply and demand.
In general, it is affected by the Spring Festival holiday, and the auto production is relatively low season in the first quarter.
But this year’s situation is completely different.
As early as in January, Ningde Times exposed the Spring Festival to continue to stay overtight work, the first-line employee single month salary can get 13100 yuan.
Peng Hui Energy said in the interactive platform in January this year, the company’s power battery is in continuous shipping, the current power battery production line has been produced, and the sales of power batteries continue to increase. The current production and sales of power batteries are all LFP batteries.
During the Spring Festival, Guoxuan’s high-tech is located in Hefei, Qijiang, Tangshan, Qingdao and Nanjing’s alliances.
At the same time, the Salt Lake is discontinued, and the financial crisis of Tianqi Lithium industry, and Altura, one of the five major lithium mines produced in Australia, enters bankruptcy management, so that there is short-term supply of lithium carbonate.
The battery header is working overtime, which will take a lot of raw materials, and the market short-term supply and demand does not match.
It can be said that from November 2020, the price of lithium carbonate is like sitting on the rocket.
The problem of lithium carbonate on the supply level, as the weather is warmed, the salt lake started to gradually alleviate.
Third, the production capacity supply is insufficient
As an important raw material of the electrolyte – lithium hexafluorophosphate and the additive Vc (vinyl carbonate), it is caused by insufficient capacity.
Lithium hexafluorophosphate is clear due to early production capacity, and the market is rich in production; and the construction period is long, the environmentally friendly barrier is high, and the new productivity cycle is generally in 1.5-2 years. These factors are superficial, and lithium hexafluorophosphate is still in the short-term supply tension.
The supply of VC is also similar. When taking the shortage of supply, Guo Yingjun believes that the tension of additives is mainly due to insufficient capacity. “The production process of additives is dangerous, complicated, and the project is difficult, and the equipment requirements are relatively high, so the production capacity construction is more difficult, so the market can be used in production capacity.”
Guo Yingjun said that VC is an important additive for lithium iron phosphate battery electrolyte (mass ratio at 2-4%), and the amount is far more than three yuan battery electrolyte (mass than thousandth).
This situation is not obvious when the lithium iron phosphate battery is compared. However, the rapid rebound of lithium iron phosphate battery this year has exacerbated the gap of the VC.
Guo Yingjun judged that the supply of raw materials for electrolyte, I am afraid it will continue to year.
Fourth, inflation expectation rising prices
Liang Lingchuan and Li Jigang, Deng Yongkang three believe that the current growth is very related to inflation expectations.
Liang Sichuan analysis believes that the price of raw materials is caused by two aspects.
On the one hand, the new energy automotive industry super-expected recovery has led to the raw material inventory acceleration, and the main raw material of the lithium battery is three-headed, and the supply cannot be recovered in a short time.
On the other hand, the global epidemics cannot be effectively stable, resulting in continuous imbalance between supply and demand, in short supply. Under the influence of the epidemic, global monetary mobility continues to be loose, and the US dollar index has fallen all the way, and the global commodities and metals have priced in dollar, which leads to strong inflation expectations of assets. Therefore, the price of bulk commodity assets soared with the US dollar.
“In this case, all aspects, including production enterprises and traders, basically consistently, more active accumulative libraries, more leading to the shortage of raw materials on the market, thus further promoting the rise of raw materials.” Liang Sichuan said. Li Jigang also said that this price increase is closely related to currency.
Deng Yongkang also believes that the current market price trend has been separated from the supply and demand relationship, which is the result of the rise in inflation.
During this price increase, Deng Yongkang said it is difficult to predict. He believes that bulk raw materials mainly look at the oil price trend. “If the price of crude oil continues to rise, the price of raw materials in the upstream of the power battery may also rise in the high position.”
Trading method, industrial chain layout and technological innovation
In the face of price increases, in addition to passive acceptance, material companies and battery companies will also find some risks, mainly divided into short-term and long-term programs.
Of course, different enterprise choices are not the same.
(1) Short-term programs: futures, back to back orders and industrial chain layout
For example, material manufacturers are purchasing some futures, locking raw materials. However, there is no relatively small talents in material enterprises, and there are not many companies that can do futures.
There are also some risk of avoiding risks by signing back to the customer. Mainly, in obtaining customer orders, it is equivalent to obtaining customers’ borrowings, and discloses loans to suppliers, which can completely avoid the price fluctuations of raw materials, but the procurement cycle is difficult to achieve.
There is also an industrial chain layout, through the cooperation with the upstream materials manufacturers, realize the self-sufficient raw materials, such as Ningde Times, BYD and Guoxuan High-class enterprises.
According to industry insiders, more strong battery companies will also use metal prices to reduce costs, and upstream materials companies can only earn some processing costs.
Of course, it is necessary to reduce the impact of raw material price increases for most batteries in the way to reduce production management optimization, technology improvement, product qualification.
(2) Long-term solutions: reduce precious metals and new batteries development
After multi-wheel row of raw material prices, battery companies have deeply realized that the importance of rare metal control. The concept of cobalt-free batteries, noble metal batteries have been valued by the company.
In May 2020, the honeycomb energy launched two cobalt batteries, which became the first battery manufacturer of the world to successfully develop cobalt batteries.
The ambition of Ningde Times is even more big, not only intended to do cobalt, but also nicker.
In August 2020, in the China Automobile Forum, Men Xiangfeng, a chairman of Ningde Times, first publicly proposed the concept of “no metal battery”. Meng Xiangfeng said that Ningde Times is laying out “no metal battery”. “This battery not only has cobalt, but also the nickel element can be replaced, so that the battery life is increased, the vehicle cost is greatly reduced.”
Of course, in addition to nickel and cobalt, lithium is also alternative, such as sodium ion batteries.
Sodium has an advantageous sodium element in the earth’s content very high, and it is a few thousand times lithium on the earth.
Chen Liquan, a Chinese Academy of Engineering Chen Liquan, talked about the advantages of sodium ion batteries.
Chen Liquan believes that as a battery, the sodium ion battery compared to the lithium-ion battery, the most prominent advantage is inexpensive, and it is very important for industrialization. “In the market, the price of lithium carbonate is tens of thousands per ton of lithium carbonate; the price of sodium chloride as a sodium raw material is only a few thousand yuan per ton.”
The sodium ion battery does not contain cobalt, lithium, and copper, the battery has higher safety and better thermal stability, is a safe, sustainable, cost-effective high-performance technology.
“Comparison of lithium iron phosphate cells (the cheapest in lithium ion battery): Lithium iron phosphate battery raw material cost per wattage is 3 hair 4, sodium ion battery raw material cost per wattage is 2 Mao 6.” Chen Liquan said.
However, industry experts believe that the performance of the sodium ion battery is still more than about 20 years behind the lithium battery. Therefore, the sodium ion battery needs to be practical, still has a long way.
Back to this round of price increase. For the problem of power battery price increase, the sales minister of the aforementioned power battery company said, “As long as the head enterprises do not increase, other companies are difficult to rise.”