LONDON, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In October 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics released the latest Li-ion battery production data: 491 million batteries produced in August, up by 7.21% MoM.
However, the production costs were pushed up, as the prices of upstream materials, such as cathode materials and electrolyte, were driven up further by the prices of raw materials like lithium carbonate and LiPF6. "Now the profit margin has been narrowed down", said many domestic Li-ion battery manufacturers.
Cathode materials: The ternary materials and LFP markets were auspicious – leading producers ran at full capacity. As the demand for cathode materials increased, the prices of some metal raw materials like Co and Ni, also rose slightly.
Anode materials: The market was stable, along with small price fluctuations. However, as many new production capacities are released this year, the supply of low- and mid-end products was excess and the corresponding prices were also decreased.
Separator: It continued the upturn, due to the strong demand. Also, the capacity layout was accelerated: on 20 Oct., Liaoyuan Hongtu Li-ion Battery Separator Technology Co., Ltd. officially launched its 45 million m2/a separator project.
Electrolyte: Supported by the strong demand and the raw material (LiPF6) price rise, the market began to recover. In the second half of October, the rise was obvious, by about USD472.40/t (RMB3,000/t) over September.
In addition, since September, the government departments continuously accelerated the promotion of alternative energy vehicle, and for many times announced to support the construction of charging infrastructure. To date the policies issued are:
- The Guideline on Accelerating the Construction of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (on 9 Oct.):
New residential areas: parking spots: charging facilities= 1:1;
Parking lots affiliated to large public buildings and public parking places: parking spots: charging facilities = 10:1
Nationwide: electric vehicle: charging station = 2000:1
- The Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Guidelines (2015-2020) (on 15 Oct.):By 2020, 12,000 charging stations and 4.5 million charging posts should be built in ChinaIn early October 2015, the LiPF6 price kept growing in China, expected to cause the electrolyte price to rebound in Q4. CCM believes that the constantly upward LiPF6 price could be attributed to the strong demand from the downstream industry and the rising raw material price. Hopefully, the LiPF6 market (sales & price) will maintain the strong upturn in 2016.
Data from the MIIT showed that the output of China's alternative energy vehicles in September grew at 200% YoY, a continuation of the high growth rate in 2015. Meanwhile, CCM learned that the booming alternative energy vehicle industry has brought a huge investment of USD7.87 billion (RMB50 billion) to China's Li-ion battery industry in 2015.
In late October, 2015, Do-Fluoride announced to minify the AlF3 production scale and expand the LiPF6 production capacity. This marks a significant step for the company to adjust its product structure, from the traditional fluoride salt business to alternative energy business.
On 22 Oct., 2015, Center Power released a private placement proposal, in a move to raise = USD147.23 million (RMB935 million) to construct a 1 billion Wh/a Li-ion battery project. It is the rapidly increasing demand that attracts the company to further invest in the power Li-ion battery business, according to analyst CCM. Hopefully, its knowhow on battery manufacturing and energy storage will play a role in its grasping sales during the fierce competition.
In October 2015, Western Resources announced the termination of acquiring 2 alternative energy vehicle related companies, as they cannot reach an agreement. However, this will not set back the company's development of alternative energy vehicle business and business transformation and upgrading.
In late October, 2015, President Xi Jingping visited the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester in the UK. Together with the good news since September, China's graphene industry again captures wide attention. However, CCM believes that it takes time for the graphene segment, a sunrise business which now has yet to achieve commercialised production, to lead the reform in the domestic Li-ion battery anode material market.
In late October 2015, the Economic & Information Commission of Qinghai Province announced to vigorously promote the output value of local Li-ion battery to reach USD12.28 billion (RMB78 billion) by 2020 (the last year of the 13th Five-Year Plan). With the policy support and the rich local reserves of lithium resources, Qinghai is expected to be a strategic place for Li-ion battery investment in China in the next few years.
Since Volkswagen's emission cheating scandal was exposed, the excess emissions of nitrogen oxides have caused a great disturbance in the vehicle market. The leading diesel carmakers, such as BMW, Benz and Honda were also involved in this scandal. In the future, CCM believes, that the legislation, supervision and law enforcement related to vehicle emissions worldwide will be more stringent, and that the growth of the alternative energy vehicle business driven by government policies will also be accelerated.
In late September 2015, the State Council, NDRC, MOHURD and NEA all announced to accelerate the construction of EV charging infrastructure. In the light of a series of policies to be issued, CCM believes that China is framing a huge charging infrastructure market (market size = RMB100 billion) - a hot cake to be shared.
On 11 Oct., 2015, Qian Power announced to invest USD78.73 million (RMB500 million) into constructing the charging posts for alternative energy vehicle. This is a quick response to the Guideline on Accelerating the Construction of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure issued by the State Council on 9 Oct., and a prelude to the charging post investment upsurge in China. In the future, the domestic charging post segment, which is now in short supply, will welcome its explosive growth, as the government will offer support constantly and the funds will be crowded largely.
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