Non-lead-acid secondary batteries to grow the fastest
Non-lead-acid secondary battery demand increases will outpace sales of primary and lead-acid secondary batteries through 2014. The market for lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries and, to a lesser extent, nickel-metal hydride batteries will be spurred by the immense popularity of portable electronic devices such as cell phones, digital audio players, gaming systems and laptops. The rapid growth in hybrid vehicle production will also boost demand for these batteries.
Manufacturers of secondary lead-acid batteries will benefit from a global recovery in automotive production and continued growth in the number of vehicles in use. Primary battery demand will be bolstered by increased use of electrical and electronic products traditionally powered by these batteries and the ongoing conversion from basic, lower-cost zinc-carbon and zinc-chloride dry cells to more advanced, higher-priced alkaline and lithium types.
Industrial applications to post strongest advances
Demand for batteries used in industrial and other applications will post the strongest advances through 2014, supported by ongoing growth in gross fixed investment, accelerating gains in global manufacturing output and ongoing industrialization efforts in developing economies. Consumer battery demand increases are forecast to match the battery market overall through 2014, supported by rising personal income levels in developing areas and a growing reliance in many parts of the world on portable electronic devices.
Automotive battery demand is expected to climb less rapidly, held back by the relative maturity of this market in most developed nations and expected declines in lead and lead-acid battery prices. Still, the development of hybrid and electric vehicles will provide growth opportunities in this market.
China to remain world’s leading supplier of batteries
Since the mid-1990s, manufacturers in China and other developing countries have been accounting for a rapidly growing share of global battery production. Japan, the US and Western Europe accounted for 64 percent of world battery shipments in 1999 but just 42 percent of total output in 2009. In contrast, China accounted for 10 percent of the world’s production in 1999 and 34 percent in 2009. In 2004, China surpassed the US to become the world’s leading battery supplier and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.