In brief
  • Exports of cobalt tetroxide rose amid the continuous recovery of manufacturing activities and demand for batteries used in consumer electronics outside China.
  • Lithium carbonate exports decreased both on a monthly and yearly basis due to no improvement in overseas demand.
  • Lithium hydroxide exports increased on a monthly and annual basis driven by rallying demand from high-nickel ternary makers in Japan and South Korea.
  • China's spherical graphite exports surged on an annual basis because of developments in anode material production in main consuming countries, with exports to South Korea at 4,591 tonnes, against 1,364 tonnes from a year earlier, up by 236.6%. Exports to Japan stood at 1,219 tonnes within the same period, up by 60.39% annually at 760 tonnes.
December exports

Cobalt metal
5 tonnes, down by 28.57% month on month, down by 97.45% year on year

Cobalt tetroxide
705 tonnes, up by 22.18% month on month, up by 100.85% year on year

Lithium carbonate
459 tonnes, down by 22.34% month on month, down by 54.51% year on year

Lithium hydroxide
7,392 tonnes, up by 40.37% month on month, up by 35.46% year on year

Natural graphite in flake
8,675 tonnes, up by 8.05% month on month, down by 28.19% year on year

Spherical graphite
5,947 tonnes, up by 21.99% month on month, up by 162.56% year on year

A summary of China’s battery raw materials imports for December 2020 can be found here.