As explained in their last report The Korean Automobile Manufacturers Association, the local core business in 2021, was 34.9% dependent on imports of components from China, and in the electric vehicle production segment, this dependency reached 100% for some items, mainly related to materials for the Production of traction batteries.
It is characteristic that the dependence of the Korean auto industry on supplies from China in 2000 did not exceed 1.8%, while the Japanese import direction was 45.5%. At the end of last year, the share of Japanese imports for the needs of the Korean auto industry fell to 11.6%. It is quite natural that the lockdowns in China under the current conditions have had a negative impact on the work of South Korea’s auto assembly plants. On the scale of the world economy, the share of Chinese exports has grown from 3.9% to 15.3% in 21 years of this century, so dependence on China is not only a problem for South Korea.
In the electric vehicle segment, Korean automakers rely almost exclusively on raw materials from China. For example, the proportion of Chinese deliveries of anode materials reaches 83%, and for cathode materials, electrolytes and separators also over 60%. South Korea is 100% dependent on China for graphite, 93% for manganese, 82% for cobalt, 65% for nickel and 59% for lithium. Although not all of these materials are mined in China, the country leads the way in terms of processing volume.