How will the aluminum processing industry develop in the future?
Volume in the industry will become the main theme of the aluminum plate and foil market in 2023
Aluminum sheet foil is one of the main varieties of aluminum processing products, because of its light weight, corrosion resistance, good thermal conductivity and other advantages, widely used in packaging, construction, transportation, electronic appliances and other fields.
At the event, Qu Jianhui, senior analyst of aluminum industry of Shanghai Nonferrous Network Information Technology Co., LTD., analyzed the current situation and future development of aluminum plate and foil industry from three aspects: supply side, demand side and construction capacity.
On the supply side, Qu Jianhui believes that the output of most aluminum sheet and foil products is expected to be lower than the expected value in 2022 and early 2023, and the lack of orders, volume in the industry, and profit reduction will become the main theme of the aluminum sheet and foil market in 2023.
"According to SMM statistics, in 2023, China's aluminum sheet strip (including aluminum foil billets) production is expected to be about 12.3 million tons, down about 600,000 tons year-on-year. The total production of aluminum foil is expected to be about 4.5 million tons, down about 250,000 tons year-on-year. In 2023, the negative growth of China's aluminum strip and aluminum foil production is almost certain, although some individual products maintain positive growth, it is difficult to make up for the lack of demand caused by the downturn in the global economic environment." Qu Jianhui said.
On the demand side, Qu Jianhui believes that the global economic downturn, China's aluminum sheet foil production in 2023 or will experience negative growth, the proportion of relatively low value-added industrial machinery and architectural decoration aluminum sheet foil products is expected to continue to decline. Driven by the plastic limit and lightweight policy, the proportion of aluminum plate and foil products used in packaging and transportation has increased, and although the profit margin may shrink in 2023, the output can still grow against the trend, representing products such as automotive plates and battery aluminum foil.
"Overseas exports are an important market for aluminum foil, but export orders and exports have declined rapidly since the second half of 2022." At present, enterprises generally feedback that overseas markets have not improved, if there are no major variables, 2023 aluminum plate and foil exports or will fall." Qu Jianhui said.
In terms of new production capacity, Qu Jianhui believes that the new production capacity will intensify the volume of the industry. According to SMM research statistics, there are a total of 26 aluminum sheet and foil projects under construction in the country, with a total design capacity of 3.942 million tons.
"From the perspective of production time, almost all aluminum sheet foil projects currently under construction will be built before 2025, and the most concentrated in 2024, it is expected that about 2.53 million tons of new capacity will be put into production in 2024, accounting for 64.2% of the capacity under construction, and the supply and demand relationship of aluminum sheet foil market in 2024 will be more pessimistic than 2023." From the product point of view, in 2021, the beautiful battery aluminum foil has become the 'main force' of new aluminum plate and foil projects, and 14 of the 26 projects under construction are highly related to battery aluminum foil, with a total design capacity of 1.322 million tons." Qu Jianhui said.
Finally, Qu Jianhui called, with the large number of new production capacity, the industry competition will be more intense, hope that the industry manufacturers to reduce the price of internal volume, through high value-added products to seek solutions.
Five difficulties in the production of battery aluminum foil and three directions for future development
As a key basic material for the positive electrode of lithium batteries, battery aluminum foil has higher requirements in strength, Dyne value, thickness and other aspects than ordinary aluminum foil, and the process is more complex.
In addition, Yang Gensheng said that the production organization of battery aluminum foil has five major difficulties, including: high quality requirements, low product yield, and rising costs; The finished product specifications are mixed, the delivery time is short, and the width of raw materials is not easy to determine; The surface Dyne value requirements are high, but the battery aluminum foil attenuation is fast, can not prepare inventory for customers, and the delivery pressure is large; Product update fast, the upstream and downstream industrial chain coordination is better; The requirements of customers vary greatly, and the quality control is difficult.
For the future development of battery aluminum foil production, Yang Gensheng believes that, first of all, the future thickness of battery aluminum foil will become thinner and thinner. In order to improve the energy density of the battery under the same volume, the downstream power battery and consumer battery have a thinning demand for aluminum foil. Secondly, subject to the impact of single sheet rolling and slow precision cutting production process, the current production efficiency is low, and the future needs to improve the production process, develop double sheet rolling, and solve the problem of carbon coating leakage to improve production efficiency. Finally, the use of single-sided light foil instead of double-sided light foil, aluminum foil production cost is lower, plate type control and coating easier, thinning ability is stronger, but the technical difficulties need to cooperate with downstream customers to develop.