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[original] 2019 senior engineering annual meeting focus (15): cathode material enterprises "difficult experience"


The role of "porters" in the lithium battery industry of cathode material enterprises is becoming more and more prominent, and the collective feeling is that it is increasingly difficult to make money.

In 2019, factors such as the sharp decline in the prices of raw materials of cobalt and lithium in the upstream, the sharp decline in subsidies for new energy vehicles, the weak demand in the downstream market, and intensified market competition led to a further decline in the price and gross profit margin of cathode materials, and the profits of cathode materials enterprises were under significant pressure.

"Cathode material enterprises are now porters in the lithium battery industry, facing the squeeze of upstream raw materials and downstream customers, and life is relatively difficult." A senior executive of a large cathode material enterprise said that at present, cathode material enterprises are facing greater survival pressure, the market competition is increasingly fierce, and the industry reshuffle is accelerating.

At present, due to the increasing concentration of the power battery market and the rise of downstream market segments, the positive electrode material industry is always strong, and the development trend of polarization is becoming more and more obvious.

"In the future, pure cathode material enterprises may" die out "or be merged and acquired by upstream raw material suppliers or downstream battery plants and host plants." The high-level judgment of the cathode material enterprise is that enterprises that do not have an advantage in raw material supply and customer structure will be integrated by the industry, leaving only a few enterprises to survive and compete.

The gross profit of cathode products decreased both

According to the performance reports of cathode material listed companies in recent years, the gross profit margin and price of cathode material products have fallen sharply, which has squeezed the profit space of cathode enterprises.

On the whole, the cathode material industry has experienced a development phenomenon of increasing income without increasing profits or slowing down, especially in the field of lithium iron phosphate materials.

(Note: this chart only counts the positive material business revenue of the company in the first half of the year, not the overall revenue of the company)

It can be seen from the above figure that the overall revenue of cathode material enterprises in the first half of 2019 is not optimistic. The revenue and net profit of cathode business of more than half of enterprises have declined, and the gross profit margin has plummeted or increased slightly, indicating that the profitability has declined significantly.

The above-mentioned enterprises pointed out in the semi annual report that the main reason for the decline in the net profit of the company's positive material business is that the sharp decline in the price of upstream raw materials has led to the decline in the product price and gross profit margin of positive materials, which has compressed the profit space of positive materials.

Shanshan sharesSaid that the revenue of the subsidiary Shanshan energy in the first half of the year was 1.91 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 21.49%, mainly due to the impact of the decline in the prices of upstream raw materials cobalt tetroxide and ternary precursors, and the average price of cathode products fell by 22% year-on-year; The net profit was 123 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 59.53%; The net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies was 85.0837 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 65.07%.

Anda technology, the once star enterprise of the new third board, suffered a sharp decline in revenue and net profit, and the gross profit margin changed from positive to negative.

Anda TechnologyIn the first half of the year, the revenue was 79.76 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 83.39%, and the net profit attributable to the shareholders of the listed company was -55.35 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 184.29%. The gross profit margin plummeted to -0.02% from 25.94% in the same period last year, indicating that its cathode products have been in a state of loss.

In the third quarter, with the end of the subsidy transition period, the sales of new energy vehicles fell, the installed capacity of power batteries fell sharply month on month / year-on-year, and the power battery industry chain was surrounded by the atmosphere of production reduction, price reduction and profit decline. Affected by this, the overall development of cathode material enterprises is not ideal, and the situation is expected to be not optimistic throughout the year.

Xiamen tungsten industryQ3 performance report shows that the company achieved a revenue of 12.724 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 10%; The net profit was 109 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 76%. Among them, the total profit of battery materials business was 25.9822 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 52%. Q3 of Keheng shares is expected to have a net profit of 15-30 million yuan attributable to shareholders of the listed company, a year-on-year decline of 41.07%-70.53%.

How cathode material enterprises break through

At present, cathode material enterprises feel increasingly difficult to make money. In addition to the vicious competition from their peers, greater pressure may come from the industrial extension of upstream raw material suppliers and downstream customers.

On the one hand, some large cathode material enterprises that have advantages in market share, capacity scale and customer structure are further scaling up and expanding cathode capacity, building production bases with an annual output of 100000 tons, further consolidating their market competitive advantages and reducing production costs.

For example,Dangsheng TechnologyThe current production capacity is 16000 tons. At present, Changzhou lithium battery new material industry base with an annual output of 100000 tons and Jiangsu phase III project are under construction. After the completion of the project, the total capacity of dangsheng technology cathode materials will exceed 120000 tons / year, ranking in the forefront of the industry.

Shanshan energy currently has a cathode capacity of 50000 tons. At present, it is building a 7200 ton high nickel ternary and precursor project in Shizuishan, Ningxia, and a 100000 ton high-energy density lithium battery cathode material Changsha base project. After the completion of the project, the cathode material production capacity of Shanshan energy will exceed 150000 tons / year, becoming the largest cathode material enterprise in China.

According to the statistics of the Institute of lithium battery research (GGII), China's NCM material shipments in 2018 were 137000 tons, with a year-on-year increase of 58.9%. Among them, the sales volume of the top 10 enterprises accounted for 73.4% of the total, and the market concentration continued to increase.

GGII predicts that from 2019 to 2020, the global capacity of lithium carbonate and nickel sulfate will be gradually released, the supply will further increase, and the price of cathode materials will maintain a downward trend. From the perspective of market concentration, the market share of cathode head enterprises will be higher and higher.

On the other hand, in order to further enhance market competitiveness and reduce costs, upstream raw material suppliers and downstream customers have extended their industrial layout to the field of cathode materials and become strong competitors of cathode enterprises.

In February, the automotive power battery cathode material project jointly constructed by Huayou cobalt, the largest supplier of cobalt products in China, and LG Chemical started in Wuxi. The total investment of the project is 34billion yuan, and the planned total capacity is 100000 tons / year. The planned capacity of phase I is 40000 tons / year of cathode materials.

In April, Huayou cobalt industry announced that it planned to purchase 100% equity of cathode material manufacturer BAMO technology at a price of 3.2 billion yuan, adding new cathode material business to the company.

On April 25,Ningde EraAccording to the announcement, the company plans to invest 9.13 billion yuan through its holding subsidiary Ningde Bangpu to build a Sanyuan cathode material industrial park in Fuding, Ningde, with a planned production capacity of 100000 tons (including cathode materials and precursors).

On September 2, Ningde Times announced again that the company plans to jointly invest 3.6 billion yuan with its holding subsidiary Guangdong Bangpu to establish Ningbo Bangpu, which is mainly engaged in cathode materials.

As the battery enterprise with the largest installed capacity in China, Ningde times is also the largest consumer of cathode materials, which plays a key role in the growth of cathode material market.

Ningde era began to build its own cathode material factory, which means that it intends to get rid of or reduce its dependence on cathode suppliers and realize self supply of raw materials, so as to reduce procurement costs, which will inevitably have a great impact on the cathode market.

It is obvious that cathode material enterprises will face greater pressure for survival in the future when upstream raw material suppliers and downstream customers depress prices and lay out cathode business. Small and medium-sized cathode enterprises will be eliminated, large cathode enterprises will also face great challenges, and market share and product prices may be further compressed.

In this case, cathode material enterprises must actively adjust market strategies, find new market segments, and survive in the fierce market competition.

On December 16-18, the 2019 high tech lithium battery & electric vehicle annual conference, named by President Li Yuanheng, will be held grandly at Hyatt Regency Shenzhen airport. The theme of this annual conference is "the darkest hour and great future of global electrification". 500 upstream and downstream enterprises in the lithium battery industry chain and 800 senior enterprises will gather in Shenzhen.

At that time, according to the development trend of the cathode market, the leaders of the segmented industry will also share their layout rhythm and market research and judgment of cathode enterprises.

Article source:High tech lithium power grid

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