Lithium ion battery exports reach new peak in H1

POSCO processes lithium phosphate from SungEel to produce lithium carbonate for rechargeable battery makers LG and Samsung. (Image from archives)

Japan and South Korea have both recorded record high levels of lithium-ion battery exports in H1 2016, as auto companies ramp up battery consumption to power new all-electric offerings.

Lithium ion battery shipments from Japan – the world’s leading producer – topped 33,500tonnes the first half of 2016, up 17% on H2 2015 and over 31% y-o-y.

Similarly, South Korea – a leading exporter to global markets – recorded its largest shipments to date, up 26% on 2015.

The increases in trade from two of the world’s leading battery producers signify the beginning of a period of significant growth in the market and offers further proof that we are headed into a new era for the automotive industry.  

Falling production costs from facility expansions across Asia are allowing for greater adoption of lithium ion batteries in the automotive and stationary storage sectors.

As OEMs seek to ramp up their electric offerings over the coming 5 years, demand for lithium-ion batteries, and their raw materials, is set to experience significant growth.

With China at the forefront of these developments, greater supply chain integration is expected domestically, making Japan and South Korea’s production increasingly important around the world.

The graph below shows the growth in lithium-ion battery exports from japan and South Korea since 2012.

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Lithium-ion battery exports 2012 - 2016