LONDON, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- July 2016 saw a certain recovery in China's battery cell market, which can be seen in power battery segment. However, the supply shortage in 2015 has yet to appear this year, in spite of rebounding sales.
- Cathode materials: price of lithium carbonate fell continuously, which also pulled down the prices of LFP and ternary materials. "Now influence brought by investigation into the 'cheating for subsidy' has continued, and revised subsidy policies have not yet been issued. So power battery manufacturers are cautious about purchase," commented a trade source
- Anode materials: the overall market was running well. It is a common opinion that the demand from power battery market is strong and the shipment is increasing. As the business is seeking for power battery performance improvement and no key breakthroughs are made in the segment of cathode materials, the use of anode materials is a decisive factor. In this context, the development of new anode materials such as silicon-carbon materials is growing. For instance, Luoyang Yuexin New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. plans to put its high capacity silicon-carbon composite anode material project into trial production
- Separator: the demand was stably going up, and the manufacturers were accelerating production expansion. However, in the short run, the supply shortage will continue, as it takes a fairly long period for capacity expansion. For example, Sinoma Science & Technology, capacity now given at 20 million m2/a, plans to expand it by 200 million m2/a (120 million m2/a by the end of 2016, and 80 million m2/a by the end of 2017)
- Electrolyte: the shipment maintained stability, however price falling on a basis of the also decreasing LiPF6 price. Some manufacturers expected it to re-rise in Q3, "New LiPF6 projects have not yet been put into operation. In H2, the growth in output of power battery will speed up, increasing demand for electrolyte."Still enthusiasm for investment into Li-ion battery business ran high in China in H1 2016. According to the incomplete statistics from CCM, over 30 companies in that period, announced construction of such projects or production expansion, combined input at over USD9.02 billion (RMB60 billion).
Though the supply and demand of lithium carbonate in H2 2016 may probably still be tense for a while, a stable, new and reasonable price range can be expected in the future.
On 15 July, Samsung based in South Korea declared to invest in BYD. It intend to establish cooperation with BYD in capital and business, to increase the supply of spare parts, so as to meet the rapidly increasing demand from Chinese eco-friendly vehicle market which is now supported by government policies.
In July 2016, Jien Nickel planned to make a private placement for <=USD616.58 million (RMB4.10 billion), and to invest >USD300.77 million (RMB2 billion) into Li-ion battery materials business.
In July 2016, Gree announced to acquire 100% of shares in Zhuhai Yinlong. However, the pre-proposal release was put off till "before 19 Aug." In light of its "To Get Core Technology" development strategy, Gree probably has an intention to involve itself in Li-ion battery production, instead of EV manufacturing.
On 19 July, 2016, Bicon declared the termination of the operation of its 13.20 million m2/a separator production facilities, mainly due to the fact that the separators from trial production failed to acquire recognition from the downstream customers. In recent years, the frequent investment in separator market and the gradual implementation of capacity have ignited increasingly fierce competition in separator market. With constantly compressed industry profit space, the separator industry will be confronted with prominently accelerated phaseout.
Zhejiang Yongtai aims to construct LiPF6 project, to seize opportunities in this segment which has huge market potential and comparatively high gross profit.
On 29 June, 2016, Anhui Annada announced a further investment of USD3.16 million (RMB21 million) in its subsidiary, Nayuan Material, to expand its iron phosphate production capacity. According to CCM, China's alternative energy industry has skyrocketed since 2015 and the industry's phenomenal growth is the main driving factor behind Anhui Annada's further investment. However, on the basis that frequent investments have been made in the market recently, and will continue to be made, overcapacity in the future seems probable, and profits are liable to be lower than expected following several years of development.
In July, 2016, the AEV industry development forum held in Xi'an revealed that China has completed the Revised Draft on AEV Manufacturers and Products Access Rules and will adjust the subsidy policy based on the inspection report of AEV promotion and application. Insiders commented that the adjustment of AEV subsidy policies as subsidy standard, and vehicle model catalogue will help AEV industry embark on a healthy development path without sector bubbles.
Western Resources, involved in AEV business, experienced shrinkage in its bus producing and selling in the first half year of 2016. This is a continuity of downturn starting in 2015.
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