Chinese lithium prices' bearish momentum persisted in the week to Sept. 29 amid lower trading activity.
Platts assessed battery-grade lithium carbonate at Yuan 158,000/mt Sept. 29 on a DDP China basis, flat on the day but down Yuan 5,000/mt on the week.
Tradable levels for battery grade lithium carbonate were pegged around Yuan 160,000/mt while the industrial grade spread was at Yuan 10,000/mt.
Market sources said there was no sign of strong restocking activity which usually takes place ahead of the week-long holidays in October, causing lithium salt prices to continue its decline.
"People are very cautious about purchasing as lithium salt prices are still moving down," said a Chinese consumer. Some participants maintained a bearish outlook of the lithium market after the holidays.
Several consumers also pointed out that lithium salt prices could go lower if traders don't hold their offers to support prices.
On the other hand, a Chinese producer stated that they [producers] were keeping stocks to see whether the prices would go up after the holidays.
Most of the participants were adopting a wait-and-see approach to see how the market moves after the holidays.
Platts assessed battery-grade lithium hydroxide at Yuan 150,000/mt Sept. 29 on a DDP China basis, down Yuan 3,000/mt on the week.
Mainstream offers for lithium hydroxide were heard slightly above Yuan 150,000/mt. Trading activities for lithium hydroxide were still lower than lithium carbonate in China.
Platts assessed spodumene concentrate with 6% lithium oxide content at $2,550/mt FOB Australia Sept. 29, down $100/mt on the week.
Offers for spodumene was heard lower on the week at $2,600-$2,800/mt, with buyers' indications still largely below $2,500/mt.
Buying interest for Australian spodumene was low, with a Chinese trader saying there was "no news about [Australian] spodumene."
Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.