The lithium-ion battery cathode market operates amid a high degree of consolidation with only a handful of players operating in the top tier. The leading players accounting for ~50% of the total lithium-ion battery cathode market shares, include Umicore SA, BASF SE, and Sumitomo Chemicals.
Leading players operating in the lithium-ion battery cathode market continue to exploit strategic merger and acquisition activities to broaden their exposure in overseas territories. While these players continue to strenuously focus on expansion of their production capacities, new investments will remain of paramount importance for them. For instance, in November 2018, BASF SE declared its plans to refocus efforts on the manufacturing of NMC cathode material that comprises 70% manganese, 20% nickel, and less than 5% cobalt.
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Currently lenient in some parts of the world, emission laws are likely to turn stringent with an emphasis on environmental sustainability, which will potentially manhandle the adoption of lithium-ion battery cathode to a higher rate. For regional players in the market, this will be the key differentiating factor for a competitive edge.
On the other side, regional players continue to struggle with the development of lithium-ion battery cathodes within the permissible limits of regulatory norms. For example, 3M augmented its investments in Nanoscale components for improving lithium-ion batteries. With the upsurge in the demand for these batteries in Asia Pacific’s consumer goods and automotive sector, investments in this region are likely to translate into greater ROI.
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