Electrical steel industry review and industry outlook

19 Feb 2024
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GNEE Steel Non grain oriented silicon steel
Throughout 2023, China's electrical steel industry is affected by factors such as low prices on the demand side and increased resources on the supply side, and the structural contradiction of products has significantly increased, and the operating situation of the entire industry is far behind that of 2022 or downhill, and the profit level of enterprises has declined significantly or there is a loss. Over the past year, market prices have continued to decline, basic demand orders have low transaction prices, and some companies with poor equipment and products are "selling" or watching the trend. The opportunities and challenges of the industry still coexist, we need to objectively and correctly observe electrical steel, high-quality development is the "three" road, traditional manufacturing upgrading, product structure adjustment is placed in front of the enterprise, to seriously understand the central Economic Work Conference: "adhere to the stability of the demand, to promote stability, first stand after breaking" the general requirements, so that the electrical steel industry healthy and sustainable development. In the electrical steel thin specification ushered in a new era today, it is more important to unswervingly take the road of high-end (high quality), green and intelligent development.

As of 2023, there are 46 electrical steel production enterprises in China, including 27 non-oriented electrical steel and 26 oriented electrical steel (including 7 enterprises with the production of non-oriented and oriented electrical steel); The dynamic production capacity of electrical steel was about 16.67 million tons, including 13.71 million tons of non-oriented electrical steel, an increase of 8.81%; Oriented electrical steel 2.96 million tons, an increase of 41.62%. In 2023, a total of 15.2752 million tons of electrical steel will be produced, of which 12.040 million tons of non-oriented electrical steel will be produced, an increase of 8.13% over the same period last year, with the proportion of high grade accounting for 31.21% (including 8.3413 million tons of low and medium grade non-oriented electrical steel, an increase of 3.98% over the same period last year), and high grade non-oriented electrical steel 3,699,400 tons, an increase of 18.83% over the same period last year. Among them, 909,500 tons of high-grade non-oriented electrical steel for new energy vehicles, an increase of 43.64% year-on-year); Oriented electrical steel 2,650,200 tons, an increase of 22.13%, HiB accounted for 59% (including HiB 1,569,900 tons, an increase of 11.48%, CGO 1,081,200 tons, an increase of 41.78%). Incomplete statistics show that there are 27 electrical steel projects under construction or completed and put into operation in 2023, of which 10 projects have been completed and put into operation, including 6 oriented electrical steel and 4 non-oriented electrical steel; There are about 17 projects under construction (Jiangxi Xingsi has stopped), including 3 non-oriented electrical steel and 14 oriented electrical steel; The annual capacity was increased by about 1.72 million tons, of which 610,000 tons of oriented electrical steel and 1.11 million tons of non-oriented electrical steel (the capacity of individual enterprises has been fine-tuned). From a variety of channel caliber analysis, it is expected that by 2025 or 2026, the domestic production capacity is likely to reach 14.5-16 million tons of non-oriented electrical steel, and 3.8-4.5 million tons of oriented electrical steel.
Non oriented electrical steel 
CRNO electrical steel
In the future, China's electrical steel industry is also facing new challenges and opportunities. First of all, in 2023, China's electrical steel investment projects are relatively hot, new projects are put into production, and the gradual release of new capacity has brought fierce competition to the market, especially the production capacity of CGO and medium and low grade non-oriented electrical steel needs to be reduced, which requires enterprises to constantly focus on improving core competitiveness to ensure competitive advantage; Secondly, there is the cost competition of "cutting price" between the industry, so enterprises need to manage the cost carefully to maintain the competitiveness. Third, the competition of homogenized equipment, homogenized process and homogenized product quality continues to upgrade, requiring enterprises to pay attention to differentiation and quality improvement; Fourth, at the international level, Japan Steel, Japan JFE, the United States River Steel, South Korea Posco and other enterprises have carried out a new round of capacity expansion, coupled with the impact of geopolitical and other factors, international trade is facing a new situation, which will have a multi-faceted impact on the import and export market of China's electrical steel; Fifth, the outstanding pressure of the contradiction between supply and demand and the competition of technology research and development and talent are also challenges facing the industry, in response to these challenges, the need for industry participants to flexibly respond to market changes, strengthen technology research and development, while focusing on talent training and introduction, comprehensive consideration in strategic planning to ensure sustainable development.

2024 is the key sprint year of China's "14th Five-Year Plan". In order to seek progress in stability and continuously stimulate domestic demand, the country has introduced a series of policies to promote the high-quality development of the electrical steel industry, and also bring opportunities and challenges. First of all, the export situation of home appliances and motors continues to rise, which will pull the demand for electrical steel; Second, from the transformer, motor industry, energy efficiency upgrade three-year action plan has achieved significant results, energy-saving transformers, high-efficiency motors have greatly promoted the development of electrical steel to high-end and thin specifications, such as from the State grid company was informed that this year the State grid will increase investment in the power grid, accelerate the construction of ultra-high voltage and ultra-high voltage and other backbone grids, It is expected that the total investment scale of power grid construction in 2024 will exceed 500 billion yuan; Third, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in 2023 to achieve more than 9 million, it is predicted that 2024 and the next five years of new energy vehicle industry will maintain a sustained growth trend, according to the mainstream countries have released the roadmap optimistic forecast, by 2030 the global production and sales of new energy vehicles may reach 30-50 million, will bring huge demand for electrical steel; Fourth, the "Belt and Road" strategy and the growing demand for transformers, motors and home appliances in the international market, some developed countries or developing countries vigorously develop electricity, low-carbon, green and urban and rural power grid upgrading and transformation, bringing opportunities for exports. It is understood that some foreign electrical business owners transformer orders have been booked until 2025, and the orders of major domestic enterprises are also relatively full; Fifth, with the popularization of new energy and intelligence in the world, a series of emerging industries such as wind power generation, Internet of Things and big data, charging piles, intelligent robots, drones or aircraft, smart home appliances, and Marine motors will develop rapidly, and will also bring a new round of demand changes in the electrical steel market.
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