Chinese producer Ganfeng plans to increase its battery-grade lithium hydroxide prices by no more than 10% due to higher transportation fees and production costs resulting from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, it said on Thursday February 13.
Most of its business started to resume operations step by step from February 12 with some already back to normal, the company said.
China’s domestic logistics network continues to be disrupted by travel restrictions imposed by the central government to contain the spread of the virus. Market sources have reported fewer freight cars and healthy, qualified drivers, meaning transport fees have risen.
Lithium hydroxide has strict requirements for storage conditions and some producers have been quoted doubled transport fees, Fastmarkets understands.
Demand for lithium hydroxide is expected to increase in the coming years, coinciding with the trend for the development of high performance batteries and vehicles with longer driving range.
Fastmarkets assessed the lithium hydroxide monohydrate, 56.5% LiOH.H2O min, battery grade, ex-works, spot price at 52,000-57,000 yuan ($7,462-8,180) per tonne on Thursday February 6, unchanged since the start of 2020 due to reduced demand during the virus.