In 2021, China’s aluminum industry will usher in a bumper harvest. According to data from Orient Wealth Choice, as of July 19, 15 listed aluminum companies that disclosed interim performance forecasts had all increased by more than 50%, of which 11 achieved profit growth by more than 100% year-on-year, and Chalco is expected to grow by about 83% year-on-year. Times.
“The rapid growth of aluminum companies’ performance in the first half of the year was mainly due to the mismatch of supply and demand and other factors that drove the rise in aluminum prices, which in turn led to the rise of aluminum companies’ performance.” A researcher from a private equity institution in Shandong told a reporter from the Securities Daily. Under the background, in the future, aluminum companies must take a green and development path in order to continuously gain new momentum for development and achieve Changhong performance.
Aluminum prices hit a 10-year high
“The increase in aluminum prices this time was first driven by demand.” The aforementioned researcher said that during the first half of 2020 during the epidemic, demand was sluggish and aluminum prices plummeted; in the second half of the year, as the epidemic eased, the resumption of production and work led to improved consumption, and aluminum prices Entered the ascending channel. In the first half of this year, the domestic aluminum price once exceeded 20,000 yuan/ton, a record high in the past ten years, and the profits of aluminum enterprises once soared to about 4,000 yuan/ton.
China Minmetals Futures believes that the increase in aluminum prices in the first half of 2021 is due to the macro background of abundant global liquidity and the continuous recovery of major economies; on the other hand, policies such as “carbon neutrality” and “dual energy consumption control” The domestic supply of aluminum has had a sudden impact. For example, Inner Mongolia was affected by the “dual control of energy consumption” policy and reduced its production by about 380,000 tons in the first half of the year. Yunnan was affected by power staggered regulation and reduced production by 830,000 tons.
With high aluminum prices, aluminum companies have also seized market opportunities to improve operating performance. Nanshan Aluminum said that in the first half of 2021, although the prices of bulk raw and auxiliary materials have also risen, the continued increase in aluminum ingot prices has boosted the company’s profit margins for aluminum products. The company expects to achieve a net profit of 1.416 billion yuan to 1.55 billion yuan in the first half of the year, especially in the second quarter, a net profit of 880 million yuan to 1.01 billion yuan, a record high for a single quarter. Aluminum Corporation of China also stated that in the first half of 2021, the company seized the market opportunity of high aluminum prices, reduced costs and increased efficiency, and achieved effective cost control. The gross profit of its main products increased significantly compared with the same period last year, achieving a net profit of 3 billion yuan. . In addition, the net profit of Yunlu and Shenhuo in the first half of the year also exceeded 1 billion yuan.
However, Huang Libin, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and director of the Operation Monitoring and Coordination Bureau, said that the reasons for this round of commodity price increases are more complicated. On the whole, global demand recovers faster than supply, domestic demand recovers faster than international, liquidity releases faster than the real economy recovers, and price increases are largely due to the superposition of short-term factors such as supply and demand mismatch, external input influence, and speculation. The result of the effect. However, deep-seated contradictions such as high global debt, the polarization of the rich and the poor, and the aging of the population determine that long-term demand is difficult to expand, and the possibility of significant supply contraction is relatively small, making it difficult to form a “super cycle.”
Green is the direction of development
When it comes to the future development trend of the aluminum industry, green and has become the consensus of the industry.
“The rapid growth of aluminum companies’ performance in the first half of the year was driven by the increase in commodity prices in the international market, but the performance growth obtained from the price increase is not sustainable.” Shen Meng, executive director of Chanson Capital, told the Securities Daily. As far as aluminum enterprises are concerned, transformation and upgrading are still a crucial factor. Increasing R&D efforts, developing in-depth to the industry, and increasing added value are the key to maintaining good development momentum for aluminum enterprises.
Prior to this, relevant persons in Nanshan Aluminum had stated that the company had achieved breakthroughs in the product field by continuously increasing R&D investment. From 2016 to 2020, Nanshan Aluminum’s R&D expenditure has increased from 450 million yuan to 1.65 billion yuan, focusing on high-precision and high-value-added products such as automotive sheets, aerospace sheets, and high-precision aluminum foils, and achieving technological breakthroughs. The company has become a domestic aluminum enterprise that supplies automotive sheets in batches. In April this year, the monthly sales of automotive sheets exceeded 10,000 tons. The company is also a qualified supplier of mainstream aircraft manufacturers at home and abroad, such as Boeing, Airbus, and COMAC, and realizes batch supply. In addition, the company has also become a core supplier of Ningde Times and other domestic and foreign battery manufacturers.
In terms of green development, Shen Meng said that carbon peaking and carbon neutrality are national policies. Aluminum companies accept this policy reality and will not open policy holes for aluminum companies. On the other hand, the demand for aluminum is still strong. Therefore, accelerating transformation and upgrading, reducing emissions and improving quality are issues that aluminum companies face seriously.
In April this year, Ge Honglin, President of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, revealed that “Relevant state departments have studied the Implementation Plan for Carbon Peaking in the Non-ferrous Metals Industry (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”) and are seeking the opinions of industry associations and enterprises. The plan initially proposes that the non-ferrous metals industry strives to achieve a carbon peak by 2025 and a 40% reduction in carbon by 2040. This plan is at least five years ahead of the national carbon peak.”
Accelerating the pace of green development has become an important and urgent task for the aluminum industry. From the changes in the layout of electrolytic aluminum production capacity in recent years, it is not difficult to find that electrolytic aluminum production capacity has been shifted from regions in the north and east of my country that rely on thermal power to the southwest and other regions that rely on clean energy such as hydropower. Under the background of carbon peak and carbon neutrality, the conversion of production capacity is accelerating, and “hydroelectric aluminum” may become the mainstream of electrolytic aluminum industry development in the future.
In the field of aluminum alloy, “the development of new energy industry has added a new label for green development to the aluminum industry.” Qi Haishen, president of Beijing Special Sunshine New Energy, told the “Securities Daily” reporter. Alloy car bodies and aluminum alloy wheels are in great demand. In addition, lithium battery cells also have a great demand for aluminum. In the photovoltaic industry, there is also an irreplaceable rigid demand for the aluminum alloy frame of the battery module. This year, the global demand for photovoltaic modules is about 150GW. If 70% of this is provided by Chinese products, plus the demand for aluminum alloy brackets installed in photovoltaic power stations, the photovoltaic industry will demand more than 1 million tons of domestic aluminum alloy products.
Qi Haishen said that with the technological and industrial upgrading of aluminum mines and electrolytic aluminum enterprises, the green and low-carbon development path of the aluminum industry will become clearer, which will also create conditions for sustainable development under the next “dual carbon” goal. .