1. Overview of the battery aluminum foil industry
① Performance and features
Compared with ordinary aluminum foil, the aluminum foil as a battery current collector has higher requirements, and the thickness is required to be controlled at 10-50 microns, and some battery factories even use 8 microns aluminum foil. At the same time, battery current collectors also require lower roughness, better electrical conductivity, tensile strength, elongation, and higher requirements for product consistency and stability. Therefore, battery aluminum foil has high requirements on equipment and processes, and has certain barriers to entry.
② Technological process
The battery aluminum foils are rolled using electrolytic aluminum (aluminum ingot) provided by upstream suppliers. In addition, our website has also sorted out the top 10 battery aluminum plastic film brands in China in2022. This article will lead you to understand the relevant knowledge of aluminum film in detail. Battery aluminum foil has very high performance indicators such as version quality, geometric size, surface end quality, mechanical properties, and surface wetting tension, and has a high technical threshold. In terms of production process, in addition to smelting, casting/hot rolling, cold rolling, annealing, foil rolling and other processes, it also needs to undergo processing processes such as stitching, finishing rolling, corona treatment, gravure conductive coating, and precision slitting.
2. Brief analysis of battery aluminum foil industry chain
Aluminum foil is a foil made of aluminum, among which the battery aluminum foil is simpler than the ordinary aluminum foil industry chain. Main upstream aluminum ingots and other raw materials, and midstream main battery aluminum foil manufacturing enterprises, mainly including aluminum foil manufacturing enterprises and new entrants. At present, DSXC and North China Aluminium occupy the main market share.
With the continuous growth of demand, ordinary aluminum foil manufacturers such as Wanshun New Material Group and HEC continue to deploy, and the overall competition intensifies. The downstream is mainly used as the cathode current collector of lithium batteries, which has both cost and performance advantages, and can be subdivided into the power field, consumption and energy storage fields.
② Battery aluminum foil upstream end
In the complete cost composition of battery aluminum foils, direct materials account for about 85%, of which the most important raw material is aluminum ingots. The battery aluminum foil adopts the cost-plus pricing method. The sales price is composed of the price of aluminum ingots and processing fees, and the price rises with the price of aluminum ingots. Since 2020, affected by the fluctuation of the overall aluminum price, the price of aluminum ingots in China has shown a steady growth trend.
As of March 2022, the price of aluminum ingots in China has reached about 22,916.3 yuan per ton, an increase of about 57.7% compared with the beginning of 2020. The rise in raw materials has led to an increase in the price of battery aluminum foil to a certain extent, resulting in a continuous increase in the overall operating rate of the aluminum foil industry and an increase in the industry's prosperity.
③ Downstream end of battery aluminum foil
The main new energy vehicles downstream of the battery aluminum foils terminal, with the increasingly clear requirements for carbon neutrality and carbon peaking, energy replacement is imminent, driving the continuous growth of new energy vehicle production and sales. According to data, market sales have exploded since 2021, reaching 3.545 million units.
Since 2022, the market has maintained a high degree of prosperity, with production and sales in March of 1.881 million and 1.864 million respectively. The high prosperity of the downstream industry has driven the demand for battery aluminum foil to continue to rise, driving the continued increase in battery aluminum foil shipments. At present, the global trend of new energy vehicles is still advancing, and China's battery aluminum foil still has a broad market development space.
3. Status of battery aluminum foil industry
① Battery aluminum foil shipments
As far as battery aluminum foil shipments are concerned, affected by the substantial increase in the overall demand for downstream new energy vehicles, China's battery aluminum foils shipments have grown significantly, exceeding 130,000 tons in 2021, an increase of more than 100% year-on-year in 2020. On the whole, China's overall aluminum foil is currently overcapacity, while battery aluminum foil is affected by high overall barriers. In addition to the outbreak of downstream demand, the overall supply of the industry is tight. According to the policy orientation, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China still has a large room for development. It is expected that the shipment volume of the battery aluminum foil industry will continue to grow.
② Battery aluminum foil production
As far as the production of battery aluminum foil is concerned, the overall demand drives the continuous growth of production. According to relevant data, China's battery aluminum foil production will explode in 2021, reaching 140,000 tons, an increase of 100% over 2020. As a battery cathode material current collector, although the cost of aluminum foil is low in lithium batteries, it is indispensable. Especially with the continuous boom in the new energy vehicle industry, the market demand for lithium battery aluminum foil has ushered in an explosion. At present, the market supply of battery aluminum foil is tight, and the overall price remains stable with an upward trend.
③ Market structure
As far as the aluminum foil market structure is concerned, the proportion of China's battery aluminum foil continues to increase. According to the data, the proportion of China's battery aluminum foil in total aluminum foil production will increase from 1.7% in 2020 to 3.1% in 2021, mainly due to the increase in the operating rate of the industry driven by the outbreak of downstream demand. At present, the growth rate of China's battery aluminum foil is much higher than that of the aluminum foil industry as a whole. It is expected that the overall proportion will continue to increase with the overall demand in the downstream power field and energy storage industry.
4. Competitive landscape of battery aluminum foil
① Market concentration
As far as the battery aluminum foils market structure is concerned, the industry concentration is outstanding among battery materials. According to the data, the CR3 of the battery aluminum foil industry is 78%. The main reason that the industry is currently in short supply is that the battery aluminum foil has deep technical barriers compared with ordinary aluminum foil, and Chinese companies with early layout have a first-mover advantage. Since 2021, with the overall boom in production and sales in the industry, the industry concentration has declined slightly, the market share of DSXC and North China Aluminium has changed little, and the output of companies such as Wanshun New Material has increased significantly.
② New production capacity
The technical barriers of battery foil are relatively high, and the production expansion cycle is relatively long. On the one hand, the equipment delivery cycle is long, and on the other hand, it is difficult to convert traditional aluminum foil production, and it takes time to accumulate technology and improve yield. Benefiting from the demand of downstream battery manufacturers for battery aluminum foil and the characteristics of high gross profit of battery aluminum foil, China, including DSXC, Mingtai Aluminum, Wanshun New Material, etc., began to deploy or expand battery aluminum foil production.
5. Development trend of battery aluminum foil
① Supply will remain tight
The industry expands more production but it takes time to release. It is expected that the battery aluminum foil will be in a tight balance in the next 2-3 years. Since battery aluminum foil has a long production expansion cycle and a long verification cycle, the yield rate is low, and it is difficult to switch production. Therefore, it is expected that the new production capacity will be difficult to release in the next 2-3 years. In 2021, the processing fee of battery aluminum foil will increase, which further reflects the characteristics of the seller's market.
② Demand for power and energy storage continues to rise
It is expected that the proportion of downstream power battery demand for battery aluminum foil will increase significantly, the growth rate of energy storage will also be rapid, and the share of consumer batteries will further decline. If you want to know more about the development of the power battery industry, you can read the article top 10 power battery companies compiled on our website. Due to the relatively stable growth of consumer electronics and the great prospects of power batteries and energy storage, it is expected that from 2021, the proportion of consumption of power batteries will continue, and the proportion of aluminum foil demand for energy storage batteries will continue to rise.