EnergyTrend Lithium Battery in IT Products and Power Application Market Report

Development of NMC Battery May Ease the Tight Supply of Cobalt in 2018, Says EnergyTrend

The demand for xEV battery sees significant growth in 2017 due to the development of new energy vehicles, resulting in a 114% price surge for cobalt. In order to ease the cost pressure, battery makers are looking for ways to decrease the amount of cobalt used in xEV battery manufacturing. EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that xEV battery with lower ratio of cobalt will be the mainstream product in 2018, easing the tight supply of cobalt.
According to Duff Lu, senior research manager of EnergyTrend, the price of cobalt has seen a new high in the past year due to the market’s overestimation of xEV vehicle demand, from US$35/kg in early 2017 to US$75/kg at the year end. The high prices have led to occasions that the pricing for cobalt transactions is not based on contract prices.

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TrendForce Reports Prices of Lithium-Ion Battery Cells Enters a Slow Climb; Supply of Polymer Cells Remains Tight

The latest lithium-ion battery market report from EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, finds that the price upswing for battery cells has started to moderate since this third quarter. Although the price of cobalt reached a new high for the recent years during the third quarter, prices of battery cells have been climbing more slowly after the large hikes in the second quarter. The overall price increase in the battery cell market is anticipated to be even smaller for this fourth quarter.
By types, polymer cells saw the largest price hike this third quarter with the average increase being more than 3% compared with the prior three-month period. Both cylindrical and prismatic cells saw a smaller sequential price that averaged around 2%. Cylindrical and prismatic cells generally use cathode materials of lower cobalt content (such as NMC), so their prices are less influenced by the dynamics of the cobalt market. As for polymer cells, the upward movement of their prices in the third quarter has not been as sharp as in the second quarter. However, their average price increase was still the largest because of the costs of raw materials.

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Prices of Lithium Battery Cells to Go Up in Second Half of 2017 Due to Seasonal Demand, EnergyTrend Reports

The global market for lithium batteries witnessed an average price increase of 15% to 25% for battery cells in the first half of 2017 compared with the second half of 2016, according to EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce. This rise was mainly attributed to the cobalt price hitting a five-year high. Going into the second half of 2017, the price upswing in the cobalt market is expected to start leveling off. On the other hand, seasonal demand during the same period will drive market for batteries used in x-electric vehicles (or xEV, which include plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles). EnergyTrend projects that battery cell prices on average will increase by about 10% this third quarter compared with the previous quarter and will continue to be on a gradual uptrend through the fourth quarter.
Duff Lu, senior research manager of EnergyTrend, pointed out that the sizes of price increases differ by cell types. For cylindrical cells, their most common cathode material is nickel manganese cobalt (NMC). Around 15% of the cost of NMC is based on the cobalt content. Polymer cells, by contrast, mainly use lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) as their cathode material. Cobalt accounts for about 50% of the cost of LCO. “As cobalt price trend climbed to its highest point in five years, prices of polymer cells from Chinese suppliers also rose by more than 20% on the worldwide market this second quarter compared with the first quarter,” said Lu.

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High Cost of Cobalt Pushes Up Prices of Lithium Batteries for IT Devices by More Than 15% Between First and Second Quarter

The latest lithium-ion battery market report from EnergyTrend, a division of TrendForce, finds that the price upswing for battery cells has started to moderate since this third quarter. Although the price of cobalt reached a new high for the recent years during the third quarter, prices of battery cells have been climbing more slowly after the large hikes in the second quarter. The overall price increase in the battery cell market is anticipated to be even smaller for this fourth quarter.
By types, polymer cells saw the largest price hike this third quarter with the average increase being more than 3% compared with the prior three-month period. Both cylindrical and prismatic cells saw a smaller sequential price that averaged around 2%. Cylindrical and prismatic cells generally use cathode materials of lower cobalt content (such as NMC), so their prices are less influenced by the dynamics of the cobalt market. As for polymer cells, the upward movement of their prices in the third quarter has not been as sharp as in the second quarter. However, their average price increase was still the largest because of the costs of raw materials.

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Cylindrical and Polymer Lithium Battery Cell Price Generally Increase in 1H17

According to TrendForce’s research “Battery Silver Member Report” in 1Q17, after the lithium battery market going through high sales volume of new energy vehicles in 4Q16, booming demand for power batteries also came to an end in 1Q17. For IT applications, price increase continues from 4Q16 to 1Q17. Cylindrical and polymer batteries each see 1-2% of price rise as the capacities are affected by different factors. It’s expected that sellers will mostly be in control of prices in 2Q17.

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Lithium Battery in IT Application and New Energy Logistics Vehicles in 2017

In the latest 4Q16 Lithium Battery Silver Member report, EnergyTrend analyzes lithium battery price trend and new energy logistic vehicles market trend in 2017.
Observing cylindrical battery cell price performance, due to short-term power application growth, the cylindrical battery market saw slight tight supply in 4Q16. Furthermore, in the future, the cylindrical battery market trend in 2017 shall be consistently focused on whether Chinese cylindrical battery technology can support IT application and how the energy density performance is.
The battery consumption for new energy vehicles is estimated to be 16 GWh in 2016. Of these, 5.8GWh belonged to new energy passenger cars, and 10.3 GWh were from new energy buses. For the entire year, new energy passenger cars went through stable growth (YoY: 31%).
China has put a ban on excessive subsidy application of new energy vehicle, postponing the 2016 subsidy announcement, which in turn affected battery demand. As the investigation gradually comes to an end, demand for Chinese new energy vehicles may increase in 2017. The new energy vehicle market will therefore witness rapid growth in 2017 (YoY: +56%).

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Lithium Battery / Electric Vehicle Report
  Supply Market Trend Demand Market Trend Format
(PDF)
Frequency

1Q

Trend of Commodities and Battery Market

  • Long-term Trend for battery material
  • Policy update for Lithium Battery in China and new energy vehicle (LEV, xEVs)

Trend of Application Market

  • Demand of energy storage market
  • Supply and demand of battery in IT market and its price change
Quarterly
( Mar., Jun., Sep. Dec.)

2Q

Trend of Commodities and Battery Market

  • New formation battery- cathode material technology
  • Policy update for Lithium Battery in China and new energy vehicle (LEV, xEVs)

Trend of Application Market

  • Supply of energy storage market
  • Demand of xEVs market
  • Supply and demand change of battery in IT market
  • Niche application (electrical bicycle)

3Q

Trend of Commodities and Battery Market

  • New formation battery- anode and separator material technology
  • Policy update for Lithium Battery in China and new energy vehicle (LEV, xEVs)

Trend of Application Market

  • Battery reuse market development
  • Supply and demand change of battery in IT market
  • Niche application (power tool)

4Q

Trend of Commodities and Battery Market

  • Analysis of solid state battery technology / supply chain overview of solid state battery technology
  • Policy update for Lithium Battery in China and new energy vehicle (LEV, xEVs)

Trend of Application Market

  • Analysis of new-type personal transporting vehicle market- LEV
  • Supply and demand change of battery in IT market
  • Niche application (handheld device)
 
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Ms. Joanne Wu
+886-2-8978-6488 ext. 912
JoanneWu@trendforce.com