China's manufacturing PMI drops again for the sixth consecutive month
Manufacturing in China has diminished again for the sixth month in a row. The official Purchasing Managers' Index - or PMI - for January fell to the lowest point since mid-2012 at just 49.4, slightly below the forecasted 49.6.
A PMI below 50 is a sign of contraction, whereas anything above that shows progress. It's been a disappointing year for growth in China, and a dark month for the stock market. This is causing concerns worldwide, although some countries - such as India, where manufacturing keeps growing - are benefitting from what China is lacking.
According to This Is Money, the state-run Xinhua news agency blamed Chinese New Year holidays on the sluggish numbers, but this steady decline suggests a deeper issue.
Problems in China will reflect on dependent countries such as South Korea, which relies heavily upon the nation for electronics exports. The PMI for China's service industry, at least, shows promise at 54.4.
PMI results for Europe and the US are soon to follow, but it is expected that manufacturing across most of the world will show a slight decline. India's numbers have already been released, displaying good growth at 51.1 after suffering a 28-month low of 49.1 at the end of 2015.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.