Data showed that the shipments of cathode materials in China in 2021 were 1.13 million tons, up 116 percent year-on-year. Among them, the shipment of lithium iron phosphate cathode material was 480,000 tons, up 258% year on year; Ternary cathode material shipments of 430,000 tons, year-on-year growth of 80%; Shipments of lithium cobalate cathode materials were 106,000 tons, up 31% year on year. The shipment of lithium manganate cathode material was 109,000 tons, up 60% year on year.
1.The cathode material market as a whole is growing rapidly
In 2021, the cathode material market as a whole shows a trend of rapid growth. Lithium iron phosphate cathode material, ternary cathode material, lithium cobalt oxide cathode material and lithium manganese oxide cathode material all increase by more than 30%. The main reasons are as follows:
The rapid growth of new energy vehicles drives the rapid growth of lithium iron phosphate cathode materials and ternary cathode materials. Driven by the demand of tablet PC, notebook, 5G mobile phone replacement, TWS, smart wearables and other terminals, the market demand of lithium cobalate battery and related materials increases. The new national standards continue to be implemented, the consumption of electric two-wheeled vehicles for private use increases, and the demand for lithium manganate cathode materials increases.
Japanese and Korean lithium battery enterprises withdrew from the Chinese power tool market, and Chinese cylindrical lithium battery enterprises occupied this market, which promoted the increase of the demand for terpolymer cathode materials The explosive growth of global demand for lithium battery drives the high-speed growth of global demand for cathode materials. The expansion rate of Chinese cathode material is faster than that of overseas cathode material enterprises, and Chinese cathode material enterprises have further increased their share of the global market with their capacity advantage.
2.Lithium iron phosphate cathode material market rose while ternary cathode material market share declined slightly
In terms of the proportion of product shipment structure, in 2021, the market share of lithium iron phosphate positive material in the cathode material field will increase from 24% to 43%, while the market share of terpolymer positive material will decline slightly from 46% to 38%. The main reasons are as follows:
The price of upstream raw materials of lithium battery, such as electrolyte, cathode, anode and fluid collector, has increased by more than 25%, and the cost reduction pressure of power battery enterprises has increased. Lithium iron phosphate positive material has lower cost and obvious cost-performance advantage. Compared with ternary batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries have higher safety. From the perspective of safety, consumers choose more lithium iron models, thus driving the increase of material shipments.
Driven by the improvement of sales of terminal models, such as BYD Han, BYD Qin, Model 3 of Iron lithium version, Model Y of iron Lithium version, Hongguang MINI EV and Euler and other best-selling models, led to the improvement of the shipment of upstream lithium iron phosphate cathode materials, and occupied the market share of three cathode materials The shipment of energy storage market increased by more than 110% year-on-year, driving the increase of lithium iron phosphate cathode material shipment.
As the price of upstream electrolyte lithium salt rises, the cost of lithium manganate cathode material increases, and the downstream users of lithium manganate battery have a low acceptance of the price increase. In the fourth quarter, the production and sales of lithium manganate cathode material market declined to a certain extent, resulting in a decline in the proportion of lithium manganate cathode material. Lithium cobalate batteries are mainly used in the digital field, and the shipment growth rate is lower than that of new energy vehicles and energy storage. The market share of lithium cobalate cathode materials is gradually declining.
3.Cathode material prices as a whole showed a rising trend
From the perspective of the price trend of cathode materials, the price of cathode materials in 2021 shows an overall upward trend, the average increase is over 100%, mainly due to:
Upstream raw materials cobalt, nickel, lithium ore prices rise, resulting in ternary precursor, lithium salt prices, including lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide prices rise by more than 300%, driving ternary cathode material prices rise by more than 80%. The demand in the downstream market is strong, and the products are in short supply. The demand for the upstream cathode materials is increasing, and the tight supply leads to the price rise.
4.Forecast of Cathode material market in China in 2022
Data predicts that China's cathode material market in 2022 will have the following characteristics: Driven by the growth of power and energy storage market, lithium iron phosphate cathode material has become the mainstream of the market, accounting for more than 50% of the Ternary material shipments will continue to grow, ternary high nickel, cobalt free and high voltage continue.
Upstream base lithium prices are expected to continue to rise more than 50%, nickel and cobalt prices are expected to fall The market of lithium iron phosphate materials has changed from structural tight supply and demand to overcapacity, and the price is expected to exceed 180,000 RMB/ton in the first half of 2022. Basic lithium salt price to maintain high, lithium manganese acid material downstream for lithium manganese acid price rise acceptance is low, lithium manganese acid shipments will decline.
The launch of new production capacity accelerated. It is expected that the new production capacity of iron lithium material will exceed 800,000 tons, and the new production capacity of ternary cathode material will exceed 400,000 tons. China's new energy market will continue to maintain rapid growth, annual sales are expected to exceed 6 million units, the capacity expansion of the cathode material in lithium ion batteries will meet the demands of the new energy vehicle market.