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Weekend Roundup: China limits graphite exports, Tevva seeks new merger partner, and more

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China restricted the export of some graphite products from December, in what is seen as a counter to a US freeze on transfer of semiconductor technology to the Middle Kingdom. China refines more than 90 percent of the world's graphite, a key material in EV battery manufacturing. Global use of the material has grown more than 250 percent since 2018, with most EV batteries containing 80-90 kg of graphite on average. India is among the top importers of graphite from China, besides the US, Japan and South Korea.

Brazilian ethanol producer Atvos announced plans to expand into new markets such as corn ethanol, biomethane from vinasse and sustainable aviation fuel. The announcement came after news broke that Abu Dhabi's Mubadala had increased its stake in the Latin American company. Mubadala already owns a 31.5 percent direct stake. Last week it acquired Grupo Novonor's 6.85 percent in Atvos' holding company through its investment fund FIP MC Green. The Abu Dhabi company also owns Acelen, which is setting up a 1 billion liters per year refinery in the Brazilian state of Bahia at an investment of $2.44 billion.  

British EV company Tevva said it had "re-engaged" with alternative merger candidates after ElectraMeccanica cancelled their deal, and hinted at the possibility of taking the US company to court. Arizona-based ElectraMeccanica cited "failures by Tevva to disclose ... material information," as the reason for rescinding on the merger, but Tevva insisted it had provided "full and open access" and would be seeking recourse "through due legal process." Tevva, with about $140 million investor funding, also said it was continuing production of its fully electric 7.5 tonne trucks.

Samsung SDI announced its first battery supply agreement with Hyundai Motor. Under the agreement between the two South Korean companies, Samsung SDI will supply prismatic batteries manufactured in Hungary to Hyundai Motor for its European EVs from 2026 through 2032. The companies did not disclose the size of the deal, but analysts estimate the number could be around 500,000 batteries over the next seven years. Samsung SDI, which supplies batteries to GM, Stellantis and BMW, among others, recently announced it would build a second battery factory in Indiana, USA.

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