Price analysis of lithium battery separator materials

by:CTECHi     2021-07-10

There is such a phenomenon in the lithium battery separator industry: some companies dominated by wet-process separators have begun to turn to coated separators and have a certain market share. The battery separator industry has been in the 'price war' quagmire. 'There is no lowest price, only a lower price' is a saying circulating in the lithium battery separator industry. Lithium battery separators can be divided into dry separators and wet separators according to the manufacturing process, and the pore-forming mechanism of the two is different. The dry-process diaphragm is to stretch the film at low temperature to form micro-defects (divided into dry single-stretch and dry double-stretch), and then pull the defects apart at high temperature to form micropores. Wet diaphragm is a method of thermally induced phase separation, through stretching and extraction processes to produce microporous film. Price trend of lithium battery separator materials: Among the production costs of lithium battery separators, the largest part of the cost lies in equipment depreciation and labor costs, accounting for nearly half, and the main raw materials polyethylene, methylene chloride and white oil account for approximately 30%, electricity and gas account for about 20%. Among the many factors that affect the gross profit margin of lithium battery separators, product prices are more obvious than operating costs. The sharp decline in the gross profit margin of many separator peers is obviously related to the decline in separator prices. When explaining the company's performance, Xingyuan Materials stated that the decline in product prices was one of the main reasons. This trend of price reductions did not stop in 2018. At the beginning of January 2018, the mainstream price of 16μm wet process diaphragm was between 3.3 yuan and 4.4 yuan per square meter, and in mid-to-late April it further fell to 3 yuan-3.6 yuan per square meter, and the lower limit was further dropped to 3.5 yuan per square meter in early May. Square meters. If you take the year as the unit, this trend becomes more obvious. How fast the price of the diaphragm is falling is also described in the innovative share acquisition book. From 2015 to 2017, the unit price of Shanghai Enjie coated film was 6.69 yuan/square meter, 5.75 yuan/square meter, and 5.56 yuan/square meter, respectively, which dropped by 16.89% in three years. In the same period, the unit price of semi-finished base film was 3.76 yuan/square meter, 3.85 yuan/square meter and 3.04 yuan/square meter, a decrease of 19.15%; the unit prices of finished products were 4.13 yuan/square meter, 4.3 yuan/square meter and 4.12 yuan/square meter . And in the sales of Shanghai Enjie base film, the company mainly sells semi-finished products whose prices have dropped significantly, and sales of finished products are decreasing, accounting for less than 10% in 2016. In terms of price, with the continuous release of production capacity and continuous improvement of technology, the price of lithium battery separators has been declining in recent years. As of the first quarter of 2018, the average prices of wet-process diaphragms, dry-process single-pull diaphragms, and dry-process double-pull diaphragms were 2.9 yuan/square meter, 1.9 yuan/square meter and 1.5 yuan/square meter, respectively. It can be seen from the trend of diaphragm production capacity and output that wet diaphragms are the main direction of the diaphragm industry in the future, and the market share will continue to increase. It is precisely because the market share of coated diaphragms has begun to grow, the price of wet and dry diaphragms has dropped significantly in the first half of 2018, with wet diaphragms falling by 39% and dry diaphragms by 50%. It is estimated that in 2020, the global demand for lithium battery separators will be 3.3 billion square meters, with a market space of nearly 10 billion yuan. According to the calculation of 1GWh power battery corresponding to 20 million square meters of dry-process diaphragm or 20 million square meters of wet-process diaphragm, it is estimated that the global demand for lithium battery separators will be 1.468 billion square meters in 2018, and it is expected to exceed 3.3 billion square meters in 2020. Assuming that the unit price of diaphragms drops by an average of 10%-15% annually, the global diaphragm market will still be close to 10 billion in 2020. Reasons for the decline in the price of lithium battery separators: On the one hand, excessive capital has been invested in the construction of new production capacity in the past two years, and the new production capacity will be gradually released in the second half of 2017, but the product performance of some new entrants is unstable, and the production capacity has to be reduced Product prices to obtain orders have made the market environment extremely chaotic. Diaphragm companies are indirectly forced to fight a price war. At the same time, the production capacity of domestic first-tier diaphragm companies is also under rapid construction. After the production capacity is put into production, they have obvious advantages in quality. With the help of economies of scale, costs can fall rapidly, thereby realizing price reductions and speeding up the price reduction of second- and third-tier diaphragm enterprises. On the other hand, new energy vehicle subsidies continue to decline, forcing the price of power lithium batteries to fall, and the separator gross profit is the highest among the four major materials, and it has become the primary price reduction target for lithium battery companies. The unanimous consensus of industry insiders is that this year's industry reshuffle has officially begun, and price wars must be fought. The market cannot accommodate so many players, and companies without capital and technical strength will be eliminated. It is estimated that 30% of lithium battery separator companies will be eliminated this year, and only 20%-30% will survive in the future. In the future, with technology, capital and other factors, the gap between companies will widen, and those companies that produce small batches and cannot guarantee quality will inevitably be eliminated by the industry, and the industry will undergo an integration in the later stage. In general, the domestic lithium battery separator industry has a low capacity utilization rate, and applications are mainly concentrated in low-end areas. High-end applications such as power lithium batteries mainly rely on imports. The price of dry-process separators has dropped by about 70% compared with 3 years ago, and the gross profit margin has dropped To about 25%, the wet diaphragm technology is still immature.

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