Chinese lead-acid battery producers’ average operating rate at rose to a year-high of 61.16% of capacity, according to the latest survey conducted by Shanghai Metals Market (SMM).
SMM said the rate rose by 4.16% in July. The average operating rate at motive battery producers saw an increase of 6.43% from June to 54.32%, thanks to increases in lead-acid battery prices.
Prices for 48V 12AH batteries rose in July to RMB 400/set ($64.84), up RMB 100/set, or 33%, from June. In addition, 48V 20AH battery prices rose RMB 80/set, or 16% from June, to RMB 580/set.
The average operating rate at ignition battery producers rose 3.14% from June to 60.48%. However, demand from other end consumers remains sluggish, said SMM.
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that China’s automobile output fell in July by 5.43% to 1.58 million vehicles, while motorcycle output fell by 3.96% to 1.89 million mt. Exports of ignition batteries were also down 5% from June to 1.61 million units.
The average operating rate at backup battery producers rose by 3.99% points to 70.39%, with demand in China and overseas both up during July. Exports of UPS and communication batteries were also pushed up by stronger demand, with backup batteries exported totalling 10.89 million units in July, up 6% from June.