China (mainland) – Mainland China is on track to become the world’s leading exporter of primary lithium batteries by 2010, surpassing Japan, according to the China Battery Industry's 11th Five-Year Development Layout Outline. Based on reports from China Industrial Association of Power Sources, the region exported 329 million primary lithium batteries to overseas markets in 2006 and is expected to maintain 20 percent growth in the next two years.
The growth will be driven by the huge demand in mobile and outfield electronic products such as portable multimedia devices, backup power supplies, automobile electronics, safety devices, wireless communication devices, parking meters, tracking systems, and long-distance monitor systems. New products such as tire pressure monitor systems (TPMS), electronic labels, radio frequency identification (RFID) products and electronic price scanners add to the increasing market uptake of the line.
Capacity increase in 2008
The number of primary lithium battery manufacturers in mainland China stands at about 50 and is expected to increase by five more by 2008 as worldwide demand for the product line continues to grow. Export businesses, however, will be dependent on product quality and suppliers will be hard pressed to acquire more quality certification for new offerings.
In the meantime, manufacturers will focus on improving significant features such as wider operating temperature range, high-pulse/-current capability and performance stability.
The majority of suppliers are based in cities such as Shenzhen, Wuhan, Huizou, Kunshan, Zhuhai and Dongguan. Great Power Battery Co. Ltd manufactures Li-SOCl2, Li-MnO2 and Li-FeS2 lithium batteries suitable for use with digital cameras, portable flashlights, apparatus and meters, and electronic toys.
Great Power can produce about 6 million primary lithium batteries per month and ships about 4.5 million units. It exports 70 percent of its output to America and Europe and is targeting new markets in Asia. Its sales revenue is estimated at $6.7 million in 2007 and projected to grow by 40 percent in 2008, according to Allic Liu, Great Power’s sales department manager. The company plans to add a new 2,000sqm plant and increase its production capacity by 30 percent.
EVE Energy Co. Ltd has been exporting primary lithium batteries since its establishment in 2001. It produces about 8 million Li-SOCl2 and Li-MnO2 primary lithium batteries per month and plans to increase its capacity by 20 percent in 2008. Exports take about 65 percent of its output and are sent mainly to North America, Western and Eastern Europe. In 2007, the company achieved $13 million in export sales and projects a 40 percent growth.
The company will be exploring the Africa, Latin America, East Asia and South Asia markets in 2008, said Yu Dongsheng, EVE’s international business manager. It has an ISO 9001-compliant factory; itwill apply for ISO 14001 certification this year. Its products have various quality approvals including UL, 3C and CE. Among its well-known clients are Sanyo, Samsung, GE and LG.
Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.