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What does the aluminum industry do under the epidemic?
Jul 8,2020 10:56CST
Source:China Nonferrous Metals Daily
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM Network News: every July, most of the people from the global aluminum industry will gather in Shanghai to participate in the China International Aluminum Industry Exhibition, the largest industry feast hosted by Lizhan Expo Group. The exhibition has been held continuously for 15 years, but this year, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the on-site exhibition has to be postponed to the next year. However, in order to meet the business needs and enthusiasm of people in the industry, on the afternoon of July 2, the Organizing Committee of the Aluminum Industry Exhibition organized an online live meeting entitled "Development Direction and opportunities of Aluminum processing under the Post-epidemic situation-Strip".

The meeting invited three experts, Wen Xianjun, vice president of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, Liu Qing, managing director of Norris China and vice president of automotive business in Asia, and Kang Ming, president of the High-end equipment Research Institute of Dalian Engineering and Technology Company of China first heavy Group. the development situation and future development trend of China's aluminum industry under the influence of the epidemic were introduced and analyzed from various angles. Shared their views on hot topics in the industry with more than 10000 old friends in the industry online, and conducted an online interactive Q & A discussion.

At the meeting, the document Army made a special report on "Market status and Insight under the epidemic situation of China's Aluminum Industry" and introduced the operation of China's aluminum industry from January to May. In the first five months of this year, China's alumina output was 28.93 million tons, down 5.8 percent from the same period last year, of which the daily output in May was 191000 tons, down 4.9 percent from the same period last year and 5.3 percent from the previous year; electrolytic aluminum production was 14.81 million tons, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year, of which the daily output in May was 96000 tons, up 0.1 percent from the same period last year, down 2.9 percent from the previous year; Aluminum production was 20.95 million tons, up 4.9% from a year earlier, of which the daily output in May was 167000 tons, up 21.7% from a year earlier, down 5.5% from a month earlier.

Wen Xianjun stressed that although China's macro-economy has been greatly affected by the new crown epidemic since this year, due to the particularity of the aluminum smelting process, aluminum output has maintained a normal growth, basically unaffected by the epidemic. At the same time, with the acceleration of the resumption of work and production by downstream aluminum processing enterprises after the domestic epidemic situation has improved, it has effectively promoted the rapid growth of domestic primary aluminum consumption, which has led to a rapid decline in domestic aluminum inventory. In turn, it has supported a sharp rise in aluminum prices, especially in the first three months of this year, so the overall benefit of the aluminum smelting industry in the first half of the year is better. However, with the sharp rise in domestic aluminum prices, domestic and foreign aluminum prices have also been upside down, the import window of aluminum products has been opened, the import of unwrought aluminum has increased significantly, while the export volume of aluminum and aluminum products has decreased. Customs statistics show that from January to May this year, China's net exports of aluminum and aluminum products decreased by 790000 tons compared with the same period last year, of which unwrought aluminum flowed into 274000 tons.

The literature army made a detailed analysis on the hot issues concerned by enterprises, such as domestic primary aluminum supply, aluminum price trend, domestic consumption, export and how to deal with enterprises after the epidemic.

On the supply side, as domestic aluminum prices were generally at a relatively high level in the first half of the year, the pace of production reduction in high-cost aluminum plants slowed down, coupled with the accelerated release of newly built production capacity, as well as the increase in imports of aluminum products and the restorative growth of recycled aluminum, resulting in increased domestic supply glut and increased inventory pressure. at present, the rate of destocking has obviously weakened, and the inventory inflection point is expected to appear in the fourth quarter of this year. In terms of domestic demand, to seize the opportunity of the government to increase investment in the three major consumption areas of construction, transportation and machinery manufacturing, domestic aluminum consumption is expected to remain the same as last year. In terms of exports, it is expected that there will be a more severe trade environment in the future. first of all, trade frictions will further expand, coupled with the decline in the growth rate of foreign demand (expected to drop by 12% compared with the same period last year), which will also increase the difficulty of exports. the export situation is not optimistic. Export data for the first five months of this year show an accelerated downward trend. At the same time, the global spread of the epidemic will also aggravate international trade frictions, making the trade order relatively more complex. It is expected that trade relief cases will further increase, and the tendency of politicization of trade frictions will become more obvious. In short, the export situation will be more severe, with aluminum exports expected to decline by 10% to 15% for the whole year. Therefore, in the future, the main force of aluminum consumption will be driven by the domestic demand of government investment. This year's government work report proposes to implement the strategy of expanding domestic demand, and plans to allocate 3.75 trillion yuan of local government special bonds for the whole year, an increase of 1.6 trillion yuan over last year, increasing the proportion of special bonds that can be used as project capital, and 600 billion yuan of investment within the central budget. We will start the renovation of 39000 old urban neighborhoods, support the installation of elevators, develop various community services such as dining and cleaning, strengthen the construction of transportation, water conservancy and other major projects, and increase the capital of national railway construction by 100 billion yuan. Aluminum enterprises should grasp the application needs of these fields and further strengthen the work of expanding the aluminum application market. For example, in the application of structural materials, in addition to continuing to expand the application of aluminum in the fields of construction and transportation, emphasis is placed on expanding the application of packaging, aluminum alloy furniture and urban public use in the field of people's livelihood. In the application of functional materials, in addition to continue to expand the application of aluminum in the field of electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, in recent years, focus on promoting the application of aluminum-air power generation system in the emergency power supply of base stations and so on.

The document army believes that in the long run, the development pattern of China's aluminum industry remains unchanged, the supply-side structural reform will continue to be promoted, the transformation and upgrading of consumption will also be accelerated, and the trend of global economic integration cannot be reversed. The rigid demand for Chinese aluminum products in the international market will also last for a long time. In short, the foundation for the healthy development of China's aluminum industry is very solid, that is, the electrolytic aluminum production capacity ceiling has been formed, and has a complete industrial chain, coupled with the strong domestic market demand as the backing, enterprises as long as maintain their strength, do their own things, adhere to high-quality development, green development, sustainable development, the dream of a global aluminum industry power will certainly be realized.

Under the title of "danger" and "machine" of aluminum for automobile under the epidemic situation, Liu Qing introduced and analyzed in detail the development of China's automobile industry and the situation affected by the epidemic.

Liu Qing said that the lightweight solution of aluminum alloy can improve the fuel efficiency of fuel vehicles, which is an indisputable fact that every 10% reduction in body weight can reduce fuel consumption by 6% to 7%. Especially for the growing electric vehicle market, it is more important to reduce the body weight, for example, the use of aluminum alloy lightweight scheme can improve mileage and reduce battery costs. In addition, in recent years, the application of aluminum alloy materials in automotive panels is also growing significantly, such as used in car doors, hair covers, tail doors, wings and other parts. However, the outbreak of new crown pneumonia at the beginning of this year disrupted the pace of steady growth in the industry and seriously affected the production and sales of the automobile industry in the short term. According to statistics from relevant departments, passenger car sales fell by 27.4% in the first May of this year, of which car sales decreased by 30% compared with the same period last year. SUV sales decreased by 20% compared with the same period last year. The decline in sales of new energy passenger vehicles is even greater. From January to May this year, sales of new energy passenger vehicles fell by 40%, of which pure electric passenger vehicles decreased by 41% compared with the same period last year, and plug-in hybrid passenger cars decreased by 35%. In the past two months, governments at all levels have also introduced policies to increase support, such as extending the new energy subsidy policy, continuously promoting the exemption of purchase tax, increasing the quota of licensing, and unlimited traffic restrictions to increase consumption. Fortunately, with the effective control of the epidemic, various industries have returned to work and production, and the monthly decline in car sales has gradually narrowed, but for the whole year, the domestic passenger car market is still not optimistic.

According to the China Automobile Association, domestic car sales are expected to decline by 10% to 20% for the whole of 2020. Roland Berger, an international consulting firm, is relatively optimistic, arguing that the domestic car market is most likely to be affected by a "U-shaped delayed rebound" scenario, with domestic car sales falling by 10% in 2020 and a rebound of 10% to 12% in 2021.

Liu Qing believes that although the auto market will fall by 10% to 20% for the whole of 2020, the epidemic will eventually pass, and the crisis is only short-lived, so in the medium to long term, based on comprehensive research on the policy side, supply side and demand side, China's auto market still has a lot of room for growth.

Kangming introduced in detail the aluminum processing equipment and technical field under the title of "Technical Breakthrough and Manufacturing advantages of Aluminum Plate Mill Localization". China's first heavy Machinery Co., Ltd., which has been committed to China's metallurgical processing field, has the world's advanced and first-class design methods and R & D capabilities in aluminum plate hot rolling equipment, and has successively developed China's first set of 2800mm aluminum plate cold and hot rolling mills, 1700mm hot tandem mills and 1780mm cold tandem mills and the largest 5500mm plate mills. Its equipment has been put into production in many large aluminum enterprises, such as Northeast Light Alloy, Southwest Aluminum, Bohai Aluminum, Nanshan Aluminum, Weiqiao Aluminum, Zhongwang Aluminum and so on.

Kang Ming said that since the beginning of this year, the Xinguan pneumonia epidemic is a great challenge to China's aluminum processing industry, and enterprises are facing various difficulties, but as the epidemic is gradually brought under control, the market may rebound in the second half of this year. Competitive enterprises should seize opportunities and turn crises into opportunities. In addition, China's aluminum processing industry should speed up the transformation and upgrading, accelerate the transformation from "quantity" to "quality", extend the industrial chain, realize the upgrading of technology and equipment, improve the added value of the industrial chain, and constantly enhance the international competitiveness of the industry.

After the end of the report session, the meeting also arranged a question-and-answer session for three guests and participants. Netizens asked questions actively, and experts answered questions patiently and in detail. According to the organizers, it will also launch a series of webcast content, such as "Development Direction and opportunity of Aluminum processing under the Post-epidemic situation-profile".

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