June 16, 2024

Investigating Competitive Strategies: Key Insights into Battery Materials Market Players

The Expanding Battery Materials Market is Powered by Growth in Electric Vehicles

As the demand for electric vehicles grows exponentially, the battery materials market which supplies these essential components for energy storage is also scaling new heights. Battery materials such as cathode materials, anode materials, electrolytes, and separators are key to improving energy density and extending the driving range of EVs. Cathode materials especially lithium-based chemistries including lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, lithium iron phosphate are being rapidly adopted as they provide higher power and cheaper pricing.

The global battery materials market is estimated to be valued at US$ 50.6 Bn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.0% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030.

Key Takeaways
Key players operating in the battery materials market are Albemarle, China Molybdenum Co. Ltd., Gan feng Lithium Co., Ltd., Glencore PLC, Livent Corporation, Norlisk Nickel, Sheritt International Corporation, SQM S.A., Targray Technology International Inc., Teck Resources, Tianqi Lithium, and Vale S.A. The increasing demand for electric vehicles is a major driver boosting the battery materials market. As more automakers launch EV models, the demand for batteries and battery materials is expected to surge exponentially. Geographical expansion into emerging markets and localizing supply chains is a key strategy being adopted by leading battery materials companies to capture new growth opportunities.

The rapid growth in the lithium-ion battery market led by electric mobility is driving increased investments in mining and production of battery materials. While cobalt remains a key raw material, investments are exploring alternatives owing to ethical and supply concerns. Research in lithium-sulfur batteries and solid-state batteries point towards the next phase of evolution for battery technologies and demand for advanced battery materials. Development of recycling infrastructure and solutions for recovering scarce materials from retired batteries will play a vital role in ensuring long term sustainability of the battery materials supply chain.

Porter’s Analysis

Threat of new entrants: The battery materials market requires high R&D investments and manufacturing of specialized and sophisticated battery materials. This poses significant barriers for new companies to enter the market.

Bargaining power of buyers: Large battery and automotive manufacturers have significant bargaining power over suppliers due to their concentrated purchasing power and preference of established suppliers.

Bargaining power of suppliers: A few global mining and materials companies dominate the supply of critical battery materials like lithium, cobalt and graphite. This gives them control over global pricing and supply of these raw materials.

Threat of new substitutes: Ongoing R&D in battery technologies aims to develop new cathode and anode materials with better energy density and cost that can potentially replace existing materials.

Competitive rivalry: The market is consolidated with a few large multi-national companies producing high volumes. Competition is based on technological innovation, quality, reliability of supply and prices.

The battery materials market in Asia Pacific, particularly China, accounts for over 50% of the global market value due to China being the largest consumer and producer of batteries globally. China has a dominant share of raw material refining and battery materials manufacturing capacities. North America is projected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period supported by rapidly growing electric vehicle adoption and investments by battery manufacturers in the region.

Important Geographical Regions

Asia Pacific accounts for over 50% of the global market value for battery materials. China is the largest supplier of refined battery raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and the largest battery materials producer globally. Other Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan also have sizeable production capacities.

North America region is forecast to witness the fastest growth during 2023-2030 driven by increasing investments in electric vehicle battery manufacturing plants and demand for Li-ion batteries from consumer electronics and energy storage sectors in the US and Canada. Regions such as Europe and Latin America are also witnessing battery material production capacity expansions to cater to the growing regional Li-ion battery demand.