China's lithium battery import analysis report

Power battery companies are accelerating the development of overseas markets. According to new statistics from Shenzhen Customs, in the second five months of 2021, Shenzhen’s lithium-ion battery exports were 10.75 billion yuan, an increase of 61.7% over the same period last year, and an increase of 47.6% over the last five months of 2019. Among the major export markets of Shenzhen’s lithium-ion batteries, Exports to the EU were 2.27 billion yuan, an increase of 149.9%, accounting for 21.1% of the total lithium-ion battery exports during the same period; exports to ASEAN were 1.29 billion yuan, an increase of 46.1%. Not long ago, the statistics released by Ningde Customs also showed that in the first quarter of this year, the export value of power batteries declared by Ningde Times at Ningde Customs was 2.517 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 28.7 times. Not only in the Ningde era, many power battery companies are accelerating their overseas market layout, and the effect is not bad. For example, Yiwei Lithium Energy mentioned in its 2020 annual performance report that the company's power battery business will achieve substantial growth in 2020, of which overseas business will achieve a growth of 126.76%. Funeng Technology, Honeycomb Energy and BYD are also accelerating overseas. Power battery companies are intensively increasing their volume in overseas markets.

Power battery companies collectively "go to sea"

It is understood that CATL products are sent to Europe in the form of power battery modules, mainly to provide power batteries for the electric vehicles of foreign car companies such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In the first quarter of this year alone, Ningde Customs’s export value of Ningde Times exceeded the annual export value of 2 billion yuan in 2019 and 2.24 billion yuan in the first half of 2020. A few days ago, there were media reports that German Mercedes-Benz is equipping its EQS electric vehicles with Putian. The square battery of the era, and the Thuringia battery factory in Germany in the Putian era will also be put into production this year. In March of this year, Volkswagen Group CEO Duis stated that he would strengthen cooperation with CATL and increase the purchase of CATL batteries. The next round of investment in battery factories may shift to China. In February this year, CATL became the third batch of modern e-gmp battery suppliers, with a bid size of more than 10 billion yuan.

A group of power battery companies are accelerating their overseas deployment. On April 20, Yiwei Lithium Energy released its 2020 annual performance report. The report shows that the company's power battery business has achieved substantial growth in 2020, mainly due to the rapid growth of overseas sales of flexible packaging ternary batteries. The annual operating income was 8.162 billion yuan, of which overseas business income was 3.85 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 126.76%. It is understood that the overseas customers of FAW-Volkswagen's lithium power battery business are mainly Daimler and Hyundai, followed by BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and other automobile companies.

According to Guoxuan Low's new 2020 and 2021 first quarter reports, the company's 2020 revenue is still at a new high under the epidemic environment, with annual revenue of 6.724 billion yuan. In the first quarter of 2021, the company achieved operating income of 1.29 billion yuan, with operating income and profits showing an upward trend, and operating income increased by 77.09%. At the same time, the company's overseas business has also surged more than 6 times. The patent dispute between LG and ski has made the public pay more attention to the cultivation of other suppliers. As the only battery company to make strategic investments, Guoxuan High-tech is expected to gain more opportunities in Volkswagen's supply in the European and American markets. Guoxuan Low said that in 2021, the company will promote the mass production of Volkswagen MEB modules and vigorously expand the international market.

It is reported that Funeng Technology plans to supply Daimler in the second quarter of this year, and the products will be exported to overseas markets in batches. As the core supplier of power batteries required by Daimler, Funeng Technology's export business this year is expected to become the main engine of the company's performance; Yang Hongxin, chairman of Honeycomb Energy, also revealed that Honeycomb Energy’s lithium iron phosphate order has become a European car The company's procurement targets will be mass-produced this year. It is expected that the export of batteries to overseas markets has also been on the agenda. With the help of orders for electric buses from other countries, the batteries will be exported overseas in the form of bundled cars in the past two years. my country's power battery companies have widely accelerated the pace of opening up overseas markets. . This dense access to overseas markets has given my country's power battery companies an opportunity to seize overseas markets.

Technical strength is the key support

"Data shows that there are currently many power battery companies opening up overseas markets." Ma Xiaoli, deputy secretary general of the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance, said in an interview with a reporter from China Automobile News. With the improvement of the technical level and product quality of power battery companies, China's power battery industry is fully confident to open the door to the European market. Moreover, CATL, BYD and other companies have also achieved certain competitive advantages in the international market, which can help them develop overseas markets even worse. It can be seen from CATL’s exports to Europe that European importers are also CATL’s partners in China. They have established a good partnership on the basis of China's cooperation, and it is only natural that they will continue to cooperate in the European market. According to him, there are still many foreign auto companies who, after learning about the products of Chinese power battery companies, vigorously throw an "olive branch" to Chinese companies to further promote the export of power battery products from these companies. Ma Xiaoli believes that China’s power battery exports are the most important part of China’s power battery exports. So rich, because of the improvement of the overall technical level and comprehensive strength of power battery products.

Mo Ke, chief analyst of Zhenli Research, also emphasized in an interview that at present, my country's power battery companies have accumulated certain advantages in technology, especially in terms of lean production, which is no worse than Japan and South Korea, and is at the leading level in the world. In addition, these power battery companies have accumulated a large amount of application data in China, further opening the door to overseas markets. Mao Lei also said that after last year, the new type of coronavirus pneumonia has also shown a downward trend. Power battery companies continue to expand power battery production capacity, prompting companies to accelerate the pace of opening up overseas markets. More importantly, after last year, the overseas new energy vehicle market represented by Europe has begun to rise, which also provides opportunities and market space for Chinese power battery companies to "go global."

In fact, China's export of power batteries is closely related to the export of new energy vehicles. Generally speaking, there are two methods for overseas distribution of power batteries in China. One is to export to overseas markets in the form of trade. Under this circumstance, the power battery will enter the overseas market at the same time the entire vehicle is exported; the second is to build a factory overseas and produce the entire vehicle locally. Of course, different companies will choose different models according to their own circumstances. For example, Ningde Times will further build overseas factories based on the export of power batteries.

Under the pressure of carbon emission reduction, although my country's power battery companies have begun to concentrate their efforts to enter overseas markets, it is more appropriate to build factories overseas.

This does not mean that the obstacles have been removed. "Take the European market as an example. They are formulating a carbon footprint policy, implementing Taiwan-wide life cycle carbon footprint management for automobiles and other products, and requiring products including power batteries to provide complete carbon emission data. If the relevant requirements are not met, the relevant products will face heavy taxes and other restrictions on the application. Currently, China does not have a policy in this regard. Some companies may not be able to obtain the EU carbon footprint policy certification if they are unable to provide relevant carbon emission data Therefore, they will face penalties, which makes them have to choose overseas factories.” Moko believes that from a technical point of view, the EU cannot restrict the entry of Chinese power battery companies, and the proposed carbon footprint management measures can be regarded as export restrictions in disguise. . However, Mercer also emphasized that compared with export trade, building factories overseas can bring worse benefits to enterprises to a certain extent. Moreover, the automotive industry has always had a precedent for local facilities. With the increasing demand for facilities from local auto companies, power battery companies will inevitably choose to build plants there.

In particular, although my country's power battery companies are not leading in battery technology, they do not pay much attention to carbon emissions in production. According to the current production model, it is not difficult to pass the carbon footprint management assessment of overseas markets such as Europe. This is for Chinese power battery companies, "Whether they are indirectly exporting or building plants in Europe, relevant companies need to pay attention to carbon emissions to achieve worse, More sustainable development.” To be sure, with the development of new energy vehicles in the world, competition among power battery companies is also intensifying. Chinese companies are launching different overseas strategies based on the needs of the local market. Take the European market as an example. Some domestic companies such as CATL, BYD, Honeycomb Energy, AESC, Funeng Technology and other countries have established large-scale power battery factories in Europe, and some companies have also announced that they will build their own factories soon.

Provide European customers with nearby facilities and services in a more convenient way. Chinese companies have the strength to compete with other countries’ power battery companies in terms of production, technology, and even capital. However, Ma Xiaoli also pointed out that in the second half of last year, including this year, the domestic new energy vehicle market achieved rapid growth. Accordingly, the country’s new energy vehicle market has achieved rapid growth. The internal power battery market is also in a state of rapid growth, which has caused the supply of low-quality power batteries to be in short supply. Therefore, the rest of the domestic power battery companies may give priority to supply in the domestic market, and will not rush to seize the overseas market.

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