China is one of the world’s largest battery suppliers with as much as a 40 percent share of global output. Suppliers in the country produce the entire range of cells and battery packs, with alkaline, lithium, sealed lead acid, NiCd and NiMH units leading the line.
Makers are banking on strong demand in the mobile phone, laptop,digital still and video camera, power tool and in-car device industries.
Many companies are expanding their reach by exploring new markets in the hybrid electric vehicle, e-bike and medical and industrial equipment segments.
China supplies two-thirds of the world’s alkaline batteries. A growing number of companies are releasing models that can operate at high temperature and have a longer life span.
Lithium battery makers are capitalizing on market opportunities created by the spate of laptop and mobile phone battery recalls. The product selection consists of Li-ion,Li-polymer, LiFe and LiSOCl types. Suppliers forecast output volume will grow by 20 percent annually through 2011.
The sealed lead-acid line caters mostly to the mid range and low end markets. Most battery types are available from China, although the main stream is driven by valve-regulated and gel models.
The world’s biggest production hub for NiCd batteries, China is also one of the few remaining countries that export the products. Most units are for the low-end market.
Suppliers of NiMH batteries are emphasizing power-packed, safer-to-use and “greener” models. To keep their competitive edge, makers are releasing products with higher nominal capacity, lower self-discharge rate,wider operating temperature and extended life cycle.
The following are some of the key trends observed in China’s battery industry:
• Product development efforts are centered on enhancing safety and developing environment-friendly batteries. Makers are exploring alternative, more-stable materials and components.
• Many suppliers direct R&D efforts toward increasing the nominal capacity and life span of their batteries.
• Companies are improving their operating efficiency to reduce overhead and buffer thinning margins.
• By turning out more value-added and “green” products, suppliers hope to strengthen their position in the global market. Many are looking to the EU and North America to drive exports in the next six to 12 months.
• Price competition remains the industry’s biggest challenge. Even so, some companies are planning to raise their quotes to cushion rising production costs. Increases will, however, be marginal as companies try to maintain competitiveness.
The above is extracted from the Executive Summary of China Sourcing Report: Batteries
To learn more about this report, visit: http://www.chinasourcingreports.com/csr/batteries
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