China’s Lithium Battery Industry Achieves 25% YoY Growth, Total Production Reaches 940 GWh in 2023

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In 2023, China’s lithium battery industry achieved significant development with a total production exceeding 940 GWh, a year-on-year growth of 25%, and an industry total output value exceeding ¥1.4 trillion. This growth was primarily attributed to the continuous expansion of export trade, reaching a total lithium battery export value of ¥457.4 billion, marking a remarkable year-on-year increase of over 33%. However, the industry also faced challenges, evident in the reduction of new bidding projects, lower completion rates of enterprise objectives, and a substantial decline in product prices.

In 2023, the production volumes of consumer batteries, power batteries, and energy storage batteries were 80 GWh, 675 GWh, and 185 GWh, respectively. The installed capacity of lithium batteries, including new energy vehicles and advanced energy storage, surpassed 435 GWh. Power batteries dominated the market, constituting a significant proportion of the overall production. The export trade performance showcased the competitiveness of China’s lithium battery industry in the international market.

Nevertheless, signs of market softening were evident in the reduction of new bidding projects, lower completion rates of enterprise objectives, and a notable decline in product prices. The bidding volume decreased by half, and most companies achieved completion rates ranging from 40% to 55% of their set targets. Several small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those categorized as third-tier or below, faced operational challenges due to issues like excess production capacity, a lack of customers, and cost disadvantages.

According to forecasts from GGII, in 2024, the Chinese lithium battery market is expected to see a shipment volume exceeding 1100 GWh, marking a 27% year-on-year growth and officially entering the TWh era. The shipment volumes for power batteries and energy storage batteries are expected to surpass 820 GWh and 200 GWh, respectively, with varying growth rates. Material-wise, the shipment volumes of the four major materials are expected to achieve over 20% year-on-year growth. In terms of product innovation, fast-charging lithium batteries are anticipated to achieve a dual breakthrough in both quantity and quality, with a significant improvement in performance metrics from 1.3-1.7C to 1.7-2.5C.

However, the industry is projected to face challenges in capacity utilization rates in 2024, particularly in the power battery and energy storage battery markets. The effective utilization rate of overall capacity is expected to be below 60%, influenced partly by the ineffective or low-efficiency utilization of newly added production capacity by some enterprises.

Regarding overseas market expansion, GGII predicts substantial progress in the overseas layout of China’s lithium battery industry in 2024, with a focus on Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. This indicates a gradual internationalization of the Chinese lithium battery industry as it seeks new markets and collaboration opportunities.

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