February 27, 2020: Most major lead-acid battery makers in China have resumed production following the coronavirus, or Covid-19, outbreak, the Shanghai Metals Market said on February 26.
“Producers that reopened in the previous two weeks of February 10 and 17 have ramped up to an operating rate of above 50%, as migrant workers returned following the end of self-quarantine,” it said.
“Major producers have reached rates of 60%-70% and the ramp-up of producers that reopened the week of February 24 is expected to continue through early March.”
The SMM listed Tianneng, Chaowei, Fengfan, Camel, Johnson, Narada, Jujiang, Hunei Center Power, Jiangxi Aokly and Leoch as resuming operations.
“Chinese battery maker Leoch has re-opened its five battery factories, including one lithium battery factory, in China,” said Leoch chairman Dong Li.
“We will be able to make up the shortfall in battery production caused by the break in operations because of the coronavirus within a month, and do not expect the disease outbreak to have any lasting impact on our business.”
Leoch also said it would be taking the utmost precautions to keep up to date with any developments and ensure all staff were protected.
Market analyst Wood Mackenzie predicted on February 12 that the virus would cause a drop of 10% more than it had previously estimated for China’s battery production.
“The restrictions on labour movement will affect industries in provinces that were expected, before the virus outbreak, to contribute 162GWh of battery cell production in 2020,” said senior research analyst Le Xu.
As BESB was about to be published, the total number of cases in China was recorded as 78,000, with 2,800 fatalities.
Globally, 80,000 cases have been noted in at least 47 countries.