In late February, shortly after the media exposed the “Lithium Mine Rebate” plan in Ningde Times, Wang Wei (pseudonym) released a supply information of lithium battery -level lithium carbonate in the circle of friends. The spot supply is 420,000 yuan/ton.
Wang Wei is a partner of a commodity trading platform. He has not appeared in the past year’s quotation list. “The market wind direction has changed, and lithium carbonate has now become a buyer’s market, almost a price one day.” Wang Wei told the First Financial reporter. The lithium carbonate “gold rush heat” quickly cooled down. In February just in the past, the offer was almost “panic”, from 490,000 yuan/ton to 400,000 yuan/ton, and it continued to weaken.
Like the high -priced traders who start lithium carbonate, there are also second -tier and below power battery companies. The heading company Ningde Times launched the “Lithium Mine Rebate” plan to start a price war. If you choose to follow, then the profitability is bound to be further damaged. If you do not follow, then the customer may lose.
At present, honeycomb energy has been exposed to a 10%price reduction plan, and some suppliers have received emails required to cooperate with the price reduction. In terms of Energy Energy of Yimei, it also clearly stated at investor activities that the company will make a profit downstream in profit, hoping that the market share on the client will increase.
This year, the sudden cooling of new energy vehicles has also poured a pot of cold water for the hot power battery industry. In order to grab the reduced market cake, the Ningde Times price reduced the price. Clear. The power battery industry has entered the “Warring States Period.”
The chain reaction after the industry is cold
In 2023, it is destined to be an unusual year of new energy vehicles. The “national supplement” that lasted more than ten years of new energy vehicles was completely retreated. At the beginning of the New Year, new energy vehicles that have exploded for two years have begun to be cold.
According to the China Automobile Association data, in January of this year, the production and sales of new energy vehicles completed 425,000 and 408,000, respectively, down 46.6%and 49.9%, respectively, a year -on -year decrease of 6.9%and 6.3%, and the market share was 24.7%. Although the production and sales of new energy vehicles in January were affected by the Spring Festival holiday, compared with the Spring Festival in 2022 (February), the growth rates were only 15.4%and 22.2%, respectively. The speed is still not small compared to the speed.
The sudden cooling of new energy vehicles also stepped on the sudden brakes of the “Cyclonus” power battery industry. According to the latest data of the China Automobile Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance, in January, my country’s power battery vehicle volume was 16.1GWh, a year -on -year decrease of 0.3%and a decrease of 55.4%month -on -month.
“In the past two years, the supply and demand of power batteries was a bit deformity. With the decline in the landing of newly produced capacity and the decline in the demand of new energy vehicles, the price on the entire power battery industry chain is being transferred.” Colen Global Partner, Greater China District, Greater China, Wang Yikai, the person in charge of the business of automobiles and industrial products, told First Financial reporters.
Take the upstream raw material battery -grade lithium carbonate of the upstream raw material battery -level lithium carbonate in the upstream raw material increase in the past two years. Yuan/ton, it only took more than 3 months.
In the past two years, in the context of imbalances in supply and demand, power battery companies have also accelerated their capacity expansion, and many cross -border people have poured into the industry. According to incomplete statistics of the battery network, in 2022, only in the field of lithium battery manufacturing (as of December 5), as many as 94 newly announced investment expansion projects, of which 76 were announced, with a total amount exceeded 87.47 billion Yuan, the average single project investment exceeds 11.5 billion yuan.
Taking Ningde Times as an example, since 2022, the company and its partners have announced at least 10 major investment projects, with a total investment of over 150 billion yuan. In June last year, the Ningde Times announced that 45 billion yuan of raised funds have been received, and these funds will be mainly used to expand power battery production capacity. It is expected that by 2025, the cumulative annual capacity of Ningde Times will exceed 600GWh.
Regarding the phenomenon of crazy production capacity in the industry, the industry has long had concerns about structural capacity overcapacity. Academician Ouyang Minggao, an academician of the Academy of Sciences, publicly stated in March last year that China’s battery capacity will have overcapacity in 2025. What corresponds to 3000GWH production capacity may be only 1200GWh shipping.
At the beginning of this year, the cold current was coming. There are news in the industry that the orders of China Innovation Airlines have not led to the resignation of some employees. China Innovation Airlines responded in an interview with the First Financial Economics today that the company’s orders and production are currently planned in an orderly manner. In addition, the reporter learned from a person close to the Ningde era that the capacity utilization rate of Ningde Times also declined.
On January 11 this year, in response to investors’ questions about the “company’s current capacity utilization rate”, Ningde Times replied that according to the 2022 semi -annual report, the company’s battery system capacity utilization rate was 81.25%.
However, in January of this year, the installed capacity of the power battery in Ningde Times fell 12%year -on -year. Coupled with the impact of continuous expansion capacity, the capacity utilization rate of Ningde Times may decline further.
“For a power battery company, how to maintain the continuous operation of the production line is very important. Therefore, the industry has expected the start of the battery ‘price war” this year. “Internal personnel of a head -powered battery company told reporters.
See the market to start a price war
The first shot of the power battery price war was the Ningde era.
In mid -February, it was reported by the market that the Ningde Times recently proposed a new price agreement called “Lithium Mine Rebate” to the car company, which allows the long -term orders to lock the auto company by favorable downstream. The specific measures of the plan are that some battery procurement of car companies is calculated at the price of lithium carbonate of 200,000 yuan/ton, and the remaining part is calculated at the market price. However, car companies that accept the above -mentioned profit agreement in Ningde Times have purchased the proportion of batteries in the Ningde Times within 3 years, and they need to pay a certain percentage of prepaid in advance. At the same time, Ningde Times also put forward about 10%of the price reduction requirements to the upper reaches of the lithium ore.
Regarding the above news, although the Ningde era has not responded positively, this has long caused a stir in the industry. The reporter learned from a number of lithium carbonate industry that the price standard of 200,000 yuan/ton proposed by Ningde Times further reduced the market’s expectations of lithium carbonate prices and accelerated the “panic” decline in lithium carbonate prices.
In response to the price war of new energy vehicles, the ideal car CEO Li Xian said recently that the price reduction may not bring sales, but it can fight against the opponent. This can also be applied to the field of power battery. As an absolute leader in the field of power batteries, the market position in Ningde Times was loosened, and the market share continued to decline. From 52.1%in 2021 to 48.2%in 2022, it fell further to 44.41%in January this year.
Qu Yinfei, an analyst of the Lithium Battery Department of Longzhong Information, told reporters that if the “Lithium Mine Rebate” plan was implemented in the Ningde era, its market share will be improved again, which will squeeze the production space of second -tier battery manufacturers.
In this regard, there are second -tier power battery companies began to fight. Honeycomb energy was exposed to launch a plan to reduce the price by 10%. Yimei Lithium also pointed out in investor relations activities that the company will provide three pricing models (price linkage models, pricing rebate models, and annual locking models) to customers to determine customer needs.
Yiwei Lithium can also say that downstream customers are basically not profitable. Therefore, as the main supplier, the company will give some strategic support to make a profit from the profit. From this perspective, the company does not pursue higher profit margins in power batteries this year; on the other hand, because the company’s production capacity is also expanding, it is also hoped that the market share on the client will increase.
In the price war in power batteries, downstream vehicle manufacturers may also re -grasp some of the right to speak. As a strategic cooperation customer in Ningde Times, Selis told reporters that the AITO asked models of Selis’s AITO will fully equip the Ningde era power battery. However, some car companies are still playing with Ningde Times.
Li Bin, chairman of Weilai, said at the fourth quarter of the 2022 financial report on the fourth quarter of 2022 that Weilai will introduce new battery partners this year. In March, the battery pack with China Innovation Airlines will be launched. At the same time, Weilai is discussing a new price mechanism with Ningde Times and has not signed it.
Enterprises below the second line accelerate the clearing
The development of the power battery industry will go through three stages, namely technology -driven periods, scale effect periods, and red sea competition period. Wang Yikai said in an interview with reporters that when the technical route is iterating, related power battery companies can still obtain a certain premium space with products and technology. Scales and costs; when the products are comprehensive and homogeneous, the industry enters the Red Sea competition, and the downstream vehicle manufacturers re -grasp the right to speak.
“I think the price of power batteries is normal and temporary, which is caused by the adjustment of short -term supply and demand relationships. At present, the power battery industry is still in the stage of technology -driven, because the battery energy density is increased and the route determination is still available. The long way to go. “Wang Yikai pointed out that it is too early to talk about a complete price war, but it cannot deny the current large -scale role. It is expected that power battery companies below the second line will accelerate the clearing.
In recent years, the competition pattern of China’s power battery industry is relatively concentrated, and the market concentration has increased year by year. The market share is constantly being snatched by leading companies. In 2022, the concentration of power battery fields further increased, the market share of TOP2’s power battery companies rose to 71.7%, and the market share of TOP10 was as high as 95%.
In a report, Cole pointed out that the domestic power battery industry will undoubtedly usher in a new round of reshuffle, showing the phenomenon of the strong and strong phenomenon; Battery companies will occupy 96%of the market and further eat the share of other small enterprises. The capacity utilization rate of rear suppliers will continue to decline, even less than 20%.
It is worth noting that while the industry stepped on the sudden brake this year, the power battery “gold rush thermal” has not yet been ended, and the phenomenon of grabbing lithium grabbing lithium and expanding capacity still exists. On February 21, the publicity information of Xinjiang Public Resources Trading Network showed that Xinjiang One Lithium Mine was won by Xinjiang Zhite New Materials Co., Ltd. for 6.088 billion yuan, which was about 385 times the starting price.
In addition, according to statistics, in January of this year alone, companies such as Yiwei Lithium, Fenng Technology, Bik Battery, Ganfeng Lithium, Shenghong Holding Group and other companies have announced their expansion, involving power and energy storage battery expansion projects exceeding 10 From the beginning, the total production capacity exceeds 300GWh, and the total investment exceeds 100 billion yuan.
“In the long run, the local market that lacks technical premiums and is greater than demand has caused the probability of fierce price war.” Wang Yikai added.