May 16, 2020

Has China's manufacturing bubble burst? Economy at its weakest in 24 years

Chinese Manufacturing
Manufacturing
Glen White
2 min
Activity across China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the second consecutive month, according to a preliminary survey published on Friday.
Activity across Chinas manufacturing sector contracted for the second consecutive month, according to a preliminary survey published on Friday.The HSBC...

Activity across China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the second consecutive month, according to a preliminary survey published on Friday.

The HSBC/Markit flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) was at 49.8 in January, up from 49.6 in December. However, the index was still below the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction in the sector.

The private survey said that firms cut prices for six months in a row to sell products, which had an impact on profit margins. Economists had expected factory activity growth to continue to stall, with a Reuter's poll forecasting a reading of 49.6.

News of the contraction comes just days after Chinese authorities said growth in the world's second largest economy had slowed to its weakest in 24 years. China's economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2014 from a year ago, missing its official growth target of 7.5 percent for the first time in 15 years.

Deflation fears

The recent data has sparked fears of deflation in China where producer prices have fallen for nearly three consecutive years. Consequently, China's annual consumer inflation hit a near five-year low of 1.5 percent in December.

“Today's data suggest that the manufacturing slowdown is still ongoing amidst weak domestic demand,” Qu Hongbin, a HSBC economist told Reuters. “More monetary and fiscal easing measures will be needed to support growth in the coming months.”

Calls have been growing for more easing in China and the country's central bank did surprise markets by unexpectedly cutting interest rates in November for the first time in over two years.

Meanwhile, Asian markets ignored the weak data with both the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng index up 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

Share article

May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell 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.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

Share article