(Bloomberg) -- South Korean metals refiner Ecopro Innovation Co. has cut production of lithium hydroxide used for batteries by 10% from a year ago, in response to weakening global demand growth for electric vehicles. 

The producer could slash output by as much as a fifth, depending on the situation in the EV market, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Kim said on the sidelines of the Fastmarkets Asian Battery Raw Materials Conference in Seoul. Battery metals probably won’t rebound until the second quarter of 2025, he said, adding that Chinese futures are showing signs of recovery.

Chinese lithium hydroxide prices started to move higher last month following a sharp slump last year. However, the lack — so far — of a meaningful rebound is partially due to miners, refiners and automakers still working through surplus stockpiles. Several major producers have also kept producing through the glut, holding back the recovery.

Read More: Lithium Market Struggles to Recover After Epic Boom and Bust

Ecopro Innovation is part of Ecopro Group, which produces cathodes and precursors for EV batteries. It has a 13,000-ton annual output capacity for lithium hydroxide at its plant in South Korea, and is currently building a second facility in the country.

--With assistance from Annie Lee and Gabrielle Coppola.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.