The report analyzes the following aspects:
In 2013, aluminum wheel makers were satisfied to see the continuous falling upstream raw material prices and recovered downstream markets. Due to the excess capacity, the primary aluminum price declined more than 15% in China in 2013. The global primary aluminum price fell about 13%. As for downstream markets, Japan and the U.S. rebounded, the European market just went out of the bottom, while Russia witnessed decline.
In 2014, China's primary aluminum price is still facing great pressure, but the decline rate is lower than that in 2013. On the international market, the primary aluminum price stops falling to show a stable trend.
China aluminum wheel industry performs stably. Although there are many aluminum wheel investment projects, most of them do not go into operation actually after loans are offered; therefore, the expected aluminum wheel overcapacity does not occur. In China aluminum wheel industry, large enterprises target the OEM market while SMEs focus on the AM market.
As the global leading position is strengthened, CITIC Dicastal continues to expand its market share in the conservative Japanese supply chain system with strong competitive advantages. Impact by CITIC Dicastal, the revenue of GAC CHUO SEIKI Component, a major supplier of GAC Toyota, dropped from RMB1.252 billion in 2012 to RMB603 million in 2013. CITIC Dicastal added Ningbo base to seize more market share. Lizhong Wheel also performed well in 2013, it surpassed Wanfeng Auto Wheel to become China's second largest maker of automotive aluminum wheels, and it has opened up the Thailand OEM market with huge development potentials.
SMEs still keep an eye on the AM export market, and about 110 ones of them rely on export. Top 30 SMEs realize the average export value of USD30-50 million, and mainly export products to the United States, Russia, Europe and the Middle East.
Except CITIC Dicastal, Chinese aluminum wheel enterprises still highlight the field of low-end products, for example, Lizhong Wheel offers the average unit price of about USD36 and CITIC Dicastal USD55, lower than USD66 offered by the U.S. Surperior Industries International and ALCOA's over USD100.
In the field of steel wheels, the upstream raw material prices remain stable while the aluminum price keeps descending, which weakens the advantages of low-cost steel wheels; therefore, steel wheel makers have to sacrifice gross margin to stabilize customers. Under this context, China's largest steel wheel maker ------ Zhengxing Wheel saw its gross margin dip from 25.2% in 2012 to 20.8 % in 2013. Meanwhile, the sluggish Chinese commercial vehicle market restricts the development of steel wheels, so small companies gradually suspend or reduce production, which leads to a higher market concentration degree.
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