This month, SMM completed the survey on the opening rate of domestic aluminum sheet, strip and foil enterprises in March. In March, the operating rate of aluminum sheet, strip and foil enterprises was 74.85%, up 12.65% from the previous month. From the perspective of enterprise scale, the start-up rate of large aluminum sheet, strip and foil enterprises, medium-sized enterprises and small enterprises in March is 83.26%, 46.74% and 33.24%, respectively. According to the type of enterprise, the operating rate of aluminum sheet and strip enterprises is 72.46%, and that of aluminum foil enterprises is 85.87%.
(note: after more than three months of accumulation, SMM replaced and updated the aluminum foil sample enterprises this month. According to the statistics of the new sample data, the overall starting rate of the plate, strip and foil enterprises in February was 62.20%, and the starting rate in the February before the revised sample was 60.09%. )
Figure 1. Sub-scale operation rate of aluminum sheet, strip and foil enterprises
The opening rate of aluminum sheet and strip enterprises increased in March compared with the same period last year.
According to the latest first-hand research data obtained by SMM, the starting rate of the aluminum plate and strip industry in March was 72.46%, compared with 71.30% in the same period last year, a slight increase of 1.16 percentage points from the same period last year and a rise of nearly 17 percentage points from the previous month. The small year-on-year increase in the start-up rate was mainly due to the release of capacity expansion last year, while the month-on-month rise was driven by the peak consumer season.
Figure 2. Prediction of actual operating rate and starting rate of Aluminum sheet and Strip Enterprises next month
From the point of view of the order situation, as of the beginning of April, the number of days of orders in hand ranges from 25 to 40 days, and the production schedule basically covers the end of April to the beginning of May. It is expected that the start-up rate of aluminum sheet and strip enterprises will rise in April. Enterprises intuitively feel that there is no significant increase in order volume and output compared with the same period last year, but SMM roughly calculates the production of sample enterprises in March, an increase of about 6 percent over the same period last year.
From the point of view of product category, the finishing products are limited by both production capacity and demand, and there is no significant increase in production, and the increase in output is mainly from hot rolled thick materials. Automobile heat transfer material orders recovered from the previous month, basically the same as the same period last year; The supporting products of new energy vehicles, such as structural components and battery shells, are still a market worthy of attention, and new production capacity is expected to enter in 2019. In addition, it is worth noting that the beginning of the year is an important stage of redistribution of industry resources, as the overall supply of the industry exceeds demand, industry buyers have a strong bargaining power, enterprises generally reflect the phenomenon of reduction in processing fees at the beginning of the year.
In late March, the inventory of raw materials rose slightly compared with the previous month, mainly due to the fact that some enterprises earned a tax gap in order to purchase raw materials before the tax reform, but it was a minority phenomenon. At the same time, the month-on-month decline in finished product inventory is due to the positive pick-up by customers at the end of March, also in order to obtain the value-added tax invoice for March. After entering April, the enthusiasm of customers to pick up goods decreased significantly. Export: to a certain extent, tax reform is conducive to strip export but not conducive to aluminum foil export, excluding tax reform factors, according to enterprises, export orders have not improved significantly, the main reason is that the current domestic price has lost its advantage.
In March, the start-up rate of the aluminum foil industry picked up compared with the previous month, and the order performance gradually picked up.
After more than three months of stable accumulation, SMM updated aluminum foil sample enterprises this month. According to the new sample data, the opening rate of aluminum foil enterprises in February 2019 was 83.48%, and that of aluminum foil enterprises in March was 85.87%, up 2.39% from the previous month. First, because the production capacity during the Spring Festival returned to normal in March, and second, because the transport capacity resumed after the Spring Festival, shipments to customers increased compared with February, so production and sales volume increased relatively.
Figure 3. Actual operating rate of Aluminum foil Enterprises and Forecast of starting rate next month
From the point of view of the subdivided products, the overall order of double zero foil is higher than that in February, but the competition in the export market is fierce, and the related enterprises passively squeeze their processing fees in order to seize the market share. The order of air conditioning foil has increased due to the arrival of the traditional peak season, but some enterprises choose to transfer some of the production capacity of air conditioning foil to double zero foil products with higher added value, such as heat sealing foil, because of the continuous reduction of processing fees. The order and output of electronic optical foil are basically the same as in February. Due to the high technical requirements and complex process, there are few new enterprises in the research and development of electronic foil. There are also aluminum foil enterprises have joined the battery foil market game, some enterprises said that after the trial production product quality is stable, the subsequent batch will take over the battery foil order. After the Spring Festival factor was reduced in March, the inventory of finished goods and raw materials fell slightly from February, mainly because aluminum foil enterprises mostly procured raw materials on demand.
We expect domestic aluminum sheet, strip and foil enterprises to continue to warm up in April, with an overall operating rate of about 77%.