SEJONG, May 26 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s exports of rechargeable batteries reached a fresh record high in 2016 on rising global demand for smart devices and electric vehicles, customs data showed Friday.
Outbound shipments of accumulators, such as lithium-ion batteries amounted to a record US$4.4 billion in 2016, up 11.6 percent from $3.94 billion a year earlier, according to the data by the Korea Customs Service (KTS).
For the first three months of the year, secondary battery exports continued to post solid gains, soaring 22.9 percent on-year to $1.24 billion.
Exports of South Korea-made lithium-ion batteries, used for smartphones and tablets, jumped 14.7 percent on-year to $2.33 billion last year, accounting for 52.9 percent of the total shipments.
By country, China was the biggest buyer of South Korean secondary cell batteries, purchasing $830 million last year, taking up 18.9 percent of the total exports, followed by Germany with $544 million and the United States with $524 million.
But the percentage of exports to China has been on a steady decline since they reached 43.3 percent in 2012, as the world’s second-largest economy has been making efforts to expand production facilities for rechargeable batteries on its soil, the KTS said.
“Brisk demand for electric vehicles and next-generation energy storage systems are pushing up exports of South Korean secondary batteries,” the customs agency said. “This upward trend is expected to continue for the time being.”