Nonferrous Metal Industry: strengthening muscles and bones in "jubilant"
Nonferrous Metal Industry: strengthening muscles and bones in "jubilant"
As an essential basic material and important strategic material for national economic development, the development trend of non-ferrous metal industry in 2021 can be described as "jubilant". "From January to November 2021, the output of 10 kinds of common non-ferrous metals reached 59.107 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 6.3%. The total investment in fixed assets increased by 6.9% year-on-year. The profits of non-ferrous metal enterprises above Designated Size reached 341.01 billion yuan." Ge Honglin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and Secretary of the Party committee and President of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said.
In 2021, the output of non-ferrous metal industry and enterprise profits achieved gratifying results, and the green and low-carbon transformation of the industry also made positive progress. In 2022, the industry still has great potential to tap and still needs to expand new space in accelerating high-quality development.
Rising prices and record profits
From the perspective of development trend, the development of non-ferrous metal industry in 2021 presents the characteristics of "hot price, hot attention and hot participation".
In 2021, the prices of copper, aluminum and many other commodities hit record highs. Copper is a key basic raw material for the development of energy and new industries. Copper prices rose rapidly in the first half of the year and reached a record high of US $10724.50/ton on May 10, 2021. As of November 2021, the average price of copper for the current month and three months of LME (London Metal Exchange) was US $9765 / ton and US $9594 / ton respectively, with a year-on-year increase of 38.25% and 35.54% respectively. Meanwhile, in 2021, the prices of aluminum, zinc and other non-ferrous metals in the domestic market reached a record high of 24765 yuan / ton and 27720 yuan / ton respectively.
From the third quarter report of Listed Companies in 2021, the performance of industry leading enterprises is really gratifying. Jiangxi copper, Tongling Nonferrous Metals, Yunnan copper, Zijin Mining and Baiyin Nonferrous Metals, five listed companies with comprehensive copper as their main business, achieved a total sales revenue of 750 billion yuan, an increase of 38% over the same period last year; The profit reached 18.78 billion yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 154%, both of which achieved substantial growth. Chalco's operating revenue in the first three quarters of 2021 was about 19.929 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 46.39%; The net profit was about 5.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 1036%.
Duan Shaofu, director of the heavy metals department of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, believes that the fundamental reason why nonferrous metal enterprises have made record profits is driven by the economic recovery, the imbalance between supply and demand, the impact of capital liquidity, the development of new energy vehicles and other related industries. The good expectation of the market for the recovery of the global economy has promoted the recovery of the consumer market. From the perspective of supply and demand fundamentals, the output of copper and other minerals recovered slowly and could not keep up with the increase of demand. From the perspective of monetary liquidity, the US launched quantitative easing monetary policy, which pushed up the price of non-ferrous metals to a certain extent.
In the first three quarters of 2021, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China reached 2.166 million and 2.157 million respectively, with a year-on-year increase of 185%, which correspondingly led to a significant increase in the demand for non-ferrous metals in relevant fields, especially lithium battery materials. In the first three quarters of 2021, the domestic equivalent output of lithium carbonate reached 270000 tons, with a year-on-year increase of 49.7%, and the consumption reached 258000 tons, with a year-on-year increase of 95%. The output and consumption of lithium battery materials showed double-digit growth, of which the output of lithium iron phosphate increased by 200% year-on-year.
Although the rise in the price of bulk raw materials can greatly increase the profits of the industry, it will inevitably affect the downstream consumption. "As an important production field in the manufacturing industry, the non-ferrous metal industry has resolutely implemented the policy of ensuring supply and price stability of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, overcome the difficulties such as insufficient power supply, poor international logistics and rising energy prices, and made every effort to increase production, which has played an important role in ensuring market supply." Zhao Wuzhuang, former deputy director of the Policy Research Office of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said.
Data show that in the first 10 months of 2021, China's refined copper output was 8.616 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 5.85%, refined lead output was 5.956 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 13.33%, and refined zinc output was 5.432 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 3.19%.
Accelerate the transformation from innovation to green
Cyclical fluctuations in the prices of bulk raw materials are the norm of the market. It is impossible for the non-ferrous metal industry to improve benefits by rising prices. Only by doing a good job in "strengthening the muscles and bones" of the industry itself and carrying out counter cyclical and cross cyclical adjustment from a strategic perspective, can we continue to explore new space on the road of high-quality development.
Mo Xinda, deputy director of the light metals department of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said that in the development of nonferrous metals industry, many subdivided fields actively promote the green and low-carbon transformation of the industry through continuous innovation. In the highly concerned electrolytic aluminum industry, under the background of increasingly stringent environmental protection standards and increasing requirements for automation and intelligence, China's comprehensive AC power consumption per ton of aluminum ingot has decreased by 24 kwh, the index is the world's leading, and the energy utilization efficiency has been further improved. In 2021, the electrolytic aluminum industry further optimized the energy consumption structure through capacity replacement. The consumption of clean energy such as hydropower, wind power and solar energy accounted for more than 23%, an increase of nearly 5 percentage points over the end of 2020.
The recycling of non-ferrous metals is one of the innovative paths for the green transformation of the non-ferrous industry. In 2021, the growth rate of recycled aluminum production accelerated, and the annual output is expected to exceed 8 million tons. At the same time, the integrated development of electrolytic aluminum, recycled aluminum and aluminum processing industries also began to accelerate. The electricity consumption of recycled aluminum production is only about 5% of electrolytic aluminum. Undertaking electrolytic aluminum consumption through recycled aluminum will become a way of energy conservation and carbon reduction.
On the one hand, the industry accelerates innovation, on the other hand, the continuous introduction of policies has brought impetus to industrial innovation. In August 2021, the national development and Reform Commission issued the notice on improving the stepped electricity price policy of electrolytic aluminum industry to promote the electrolytic aluminum industry to continuously improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emission intensity and serve the green and low-carbon circular development of economy and society. Vigorously developing non-ferrous functional materials that support the new generation of information technology, high-end equipment, bioengineering, energy conservation and environmental protection, new energy vehicles and other strategic emerging industries is an important way for the industry to move towards the high end of modern manufacturing.
"At present, China has become a major producer of lithium-ion power battery materials in the world, and the output of cathode materials accounts for more than 70% of the world, but we must not take it lightly." Zhao Wuzhuang said that the speed of technological progress in the field of new materials is accelerating, and the technical life of next-generation products is shortening. Only by continuously increasing R & D investment, can a mechanism of "production generation, R & D generation, pre research generation and reserve generation" be formed, and can we remain invincible in the fierce international competition.
Continue to expand overseas markets
For the focus of the future development of non-ferrous metal industry, Ge Honglin believes that we can continue to make efforts from expanding overseas markets.
In terms of unblocking domestic and international double circulation, the non-ferrous metal industry has actively explored in 2021. In order to break through the resource constraints, the non-ferrous metal industry has formed a large-scale mineral assets abroad, and the operation of overseas assets has been an important source of profit for many enterprises. In 2021, six major metal mines were newly built and put into operation in the world. Except for three iron mines, the other three copper mines were invested and constructed by China Zijin Mining Group. Among them, the two overseas are kamoa kakula with a capacity of 300000 tons / year of copper metal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Timok with a capacity of 90000 tons / year of copper metal in Serbia. In 2021, the copper production capacity of overseas mines of Chinese enterprises exceeded 2 million tons / year.
The aluminum enterprises responded one belt, one road initiative, and gained nearly ten billion tons of bauxite resources overseas. They not only protected the safety of the supply chain of the industrial chain, but also gained the international voice. In the background of the general increase in the price of bulk raw materials in 2021, the import price of bauxite was basically stable, which effectively reduced the economic operation cost.
"However, we need to continue to expand overseas markets in the future." Mohinda believes that at present, the countries of overseas bauxite development and import are relatively concentrated, with Guinea, Australia and Indonesia accounting for more than 99%. Further diversified development is needed in the future to ensure supply security.
Zhao Wuzhuang believes that focusing on the shortage of domestic resources and realizing the utilization of overseas resources through international cooperation is an important measure for China's non-ferrous metal industry to give full play to its own technological advantages and expand development space.