CATL has a strong ability to secure supply, but rumors of production cuts show that the industry as a whole is facing cost pressures, local media said.
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As raw material prices for power batteries continue to rise, there have been rumors recently that some battery makers are starting to cut production.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), a supplier to Tesla and NIO, as well as some other lithium iron phosphate battery makers, were rumored to have lowered their production schedules for March, but the company said these rumors are untrue, according to a report in the Securities Times today.
CATL (SHE: 300750)has a strong ability to secure supply, but the rumors of production cuts show the industry as a whole is facing cost pressures, the report noted.
"I can no longer analyze the current prices, and with hoarding in all segments, cathode material makers are having a really tough time, potentially resulting in production cuts," the report quoted a source at a cathode material maker as saying.
Excessive prices could dampen demand, and the battery industry chain is already showing resistance.
The likelihood of some makers revising their production schedules downward is high, the report said, citing Mo Ke, founder of research firm RealLi Research.
"As far as I know, battery and material makers, represented by some leading companies, are already seeking a collective boycott, hoping to refuse to buy lithium carbonate above RMB 500,000 per ton," Mo said.
The price of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China topped RMB 500,000 per ton on March 2, up about 67 percent from the beginning of the year, according to data from several price monitors.
The price rose from RMB 300,000 per ton to RMB 400,000 per ton in a month, and from RMB 400,000 per ton to RMB 500,000 per ton in about 20 days.
The Securities Times quoted unnamed industry sources as saying that speculation is one of the factors that has led to the current abnormally high price of lithium.
"The supply of lithium carbonate is tight, but not scarce. The high price is caused by snapping up, in which some makers are stocking up in advance and some dealers are hoarding," an industry source said.