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Rechargeable batteries accounted for 27% of global lithium consumption in 2012, up from 15% in 2007 and 8% in 2002, according to “Lithium: Market Outlook to 2017,” a new report from Roskill. This end-use category was responsible for 44% of the net increase in lithium consumption over the last 10 years, and 70% over the last five years. In the base-case growth scenario, it is expected to contribute 75% of the growth in forecast demand to 2017, when total demand for lithium is expected to reach slightly over 238,000 t lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).
Other end uses, including glass-ceramics, greases and polymers, have also shown high rates of growth, but are predicted to moderate over the next five years as emerging economy growth slows. The lithium industry is thus becoming more reliant on rechargeable batteries to sustain high rates of future demand growth.
Reflecting the concentration of lithium-ion battery manufacturers and associated cathode material producers in China, Japan and South Korea, the East Asia region has become an increasingly important consumer of lithium products over the last decade. In 2012, East Asia accounted for 60% of total global consumption with Europe accounting for a further 24% and North America 9%.
For additional information, visit www.roskill.com/lithium.