Rising anode prices add help, the competition for graphitization resources intensifies

Rising anode prices add help, the competition for graphitization resources intensifies

Starting from August 2020, the domestic lithium battery anode material market has entered a fast-rising channel. Since November, large manufacturers of lithium battery anode materials have basically been in full production. It can be seen from the figure below that the average monthly output in 2021 will increase by 106% compared with 2019, and the increase will be 53% compared with 2020. In the first quarter of this year, production has nearly doubled, and the demand for lithium batteries is strong.

In March, the 16 domestic anode material companies planned to produce 50,600 tons at the beginning of the month, but the actual output was discounted to varying degrees in each company. It is not that negative electrode manufacturers have reduced orders, but the output of negative electrode manufacturers is limited. The biggest bottleneck is the graphitization sector.

In mid-January 2021, the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission emphasized that in the future and the “14th Five-Year Plan” Inner Mongolia will focus on strengthening energy source control, implementing stricter energy-saving review policies for high-energy-consuming projects, and strictly implementing energy consumption, quality, and environmental protection standards. Resolutely curb low-level redundant construction of high-energy-consuming projects.

For Ulan Qab, where the graphitization capacity is relatively concentrated, the contradiction of insufficient graphitization capacity supply in March was particularly prominent. At present, most of the negative graphitization production enterprises in this area are classified as A and B enterprises, and the electricity consumption is restricted by 15% and 30% respectively based on the electricity consumption in December 2020. Some companies whose operating rates were not high in December last year had a greater impact. The situation in April was basically the same as that in March, and the household quota of individual graphitization foundries was zero.

As of 2020, the graphitization capacity of Inner Mongolia is 278,000 tons, accounting for 40% of the domestic anode graphitization capacity. Throughout March, the utilization of negative electrode graphitization in Inner Mongolia was only about 80% compared with the nominal capacity. The actual monthly processing volume was about 18,000 tons, and the processing volume was reduced by about 5,000 tons. (For more details, see “Research Report on the Industry Chain of Lithium Battery Anode Materials 2021-2025″)

However, the number of orders for negative electrode manufacturers continues to rise, and the already scarce graphitization capacity has made even worse. Buyers from negative electrode manufacturers have begun to stay in the graphitization plant and strive to burn more furnaces. Graphitization capacity has once again become the industry’s favorite, and the purchasers have their own magical powers, only to strive for more graphitization capacity.

What kind of chain reaction will the tight graphitization capacity cause in the negative electrode market:
1. The price of negative graphitization foundry has risen. Price increases are almost inevitable. According to data from Xin Lu Information, starting from November 2020, the domestic negative electrode graphitization foundry price has risen by 2,000-3,000 yuan/ton as a whole.

2. The rising cost of graphite directly leads to an increase in the cost of the negative electrode by 1,000 yuan/ton. Companies with a high self-proportion of graphitization capacity have more cost advantages.

3. Negotiate the bargaining chip for order price growth in the second quarter for negative electrode manufacturers. At present, the bottleneck of graphitization capacity will run through the entire 2021, and the contradiction of insufficient supply of negative electrodes will become more and more prominent, which also provides a better opportunity for the current cost increase transmission of negative electrodes from raw materials and foundry.

Post time: Apr-02-2021