SMM Analysis: #Lithium Battery Recycling Has Broad Prospects and Waste Lithium Batteries Have Become “Sought-After” Products in New Energy Industry

SHANGHAI, May 18 (SMM) – Since the second half of 2021, the prices of upstream raw materials in the power battery industry chain have risen steadily, and the prices of raw materials such as lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate, and nickel sulphate have soared by nearly 10 times. Waste lithium batteries and battery scrap generated in production process contain nickel, cobalt, and lithium metal, allowing their prices to sky-rocket when the supply of raw materials is tight.

Here is a brief introduction to the pricing method of waste lithium batteries. Taking the most popular waste NMC lithium battery in the recycling market as an example. The recycling price = (SMM refined nickel price × nickel content % + SMM refined cobalt price × cobalt content %) × discount coefficient %. From this formula, it can be seen that in addition to the price fluctuations of refined nickel and refined cobalt, which can directly affect the final recycling price of used lithium batteries, the spot prices and price trends of lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate, and nickel sulphate will also affect the discount coefficient, thereby affecting the recycling prices. Although lithium is not directly priced in the pricing scheme, the price of lithium carbonate and the relationship between supply and demand will also affect the change in the “discount coefficient %” in the formula.

At present, due to the scarcity of nickel-cobalt-lithium primary resources, insufficient domestic supply, and dependence on imports, the price of battery cathode raw materials has skyrocketed. Many new energy companies have turned their attention to waste power batteries which have the reputation of being called “urban mines”. The discount coefficient of waste NMC lithium battery soared to 150% at the beginning of the year. At present, due to the weakening of domestic new energy market demand, the price of waste lithium batteries has also returned to a more rational range.

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