Batteries in China
Demand in China to rise 13% annually through 2016
Demand for batteries in China is forecast to increase 13.0 percent annually to ¥259.4 billion in 2016. Growth will be driven by a continuing shift in the product mix toward higher-value secondary batteries, rising ownership of high-drain electronic products by Chinese consumers, and expanding production of motor vehicles and electronics. The export of battery containing products -- in particular cellular phones, laptop computers, and other portable devices -- will further spur battery demand in China.
Secondary batteries to outpace primary types
Demand for secondary batteries in China is projected to rise at a strong doubledigit annual rate through 2016. Rechargeable lithium batteries will post the strongest growth, primarily driven by their superior performance attributes -- such as a higher power density ratio and longer product lifespan -- compared to competing chemistries. The expanding range of applications, continuing technological innovation, and decreasing prices will further boost gains. Lead-acid batteries will remain the largest segment, accounting for over half of the secondary battery market total in 2016. The transportation equipment market will be principally responsible for advances in secondary battery demand. Demand in this market will benefit from expanding production and a growing park of electric bicycles, motorcycles, and motor vehicles. The portable devices battery market will increase nearly 12 percent annually through 2016. Gains will be supported by rising consumer electronics production and increasing exports.
Alkaline batteries to remain key primary type
Sales of primary batteries will increase at a strong but slower annual rate than secondary batteries through 2016. Alkaline batteries will further strengthen their dominance in the primary battery market and continue to post the fastest gains at the expense of zinc-based battery demand growth. Alkaline batteries are favored for their greater power and longer lifespan than zinc-carbon/ chloride batteries. The consumer market will continue to be the dominant outlet for primary battery sales in China in 2016. Demand for primary batteries in the consumer segment will be fueled by increasing production of and domestic demand for home entertainment and portable devices and the introduction of new primary battery-powered portable devices.
China maintains trade surplus in batteries
China maintains a trade surplus in batteries, with exports accounting for nearly 24 percent of battery shipments in 2011. About 11 percent of demand was satisfied by imports -- down from about 22 percent in 2006 -- highlighting the increasing self-sufficiency of the Chinese battery market. The majority of imported batteries feature more advanced technology, such as rechargeable lithium, while exported batteries generally include lower-cost products such as zinc-carbon/chloride, alkaline, and nickel-based batteries.
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