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Soaring coal price and freight or reshaping the pattern of ceramic industry

Author:Foshan Yangsen Chemical Co., Ltd. Click: Time:2020-09-22 00:00:00


In September, the key words of the ceramic industry are "coal" and "logistics". The great reversal of these two important links ended the golden period of "continuous decline in production costs of ceramic enterprises". The sudden increase in production costs has caused panic among many manufacturers who rely heavily on price war.

Since last year, the domestic building ceramics industry has been in a continuous downturn. Most of the enterprises are struggling to develop and are facing great operating pressure. However, in 2015, the comprehensive production cost of ceramic enterprises was significantly reduced, and the purchase price of raw materials, fuels, steel and even cartons was significantly reduced. In general, the comprehensive production cost of ceramic enterprises in 2015 was generally reduced by 7-15%.

This is favorable, which releases a large space for the price war of ceramic enterprises. For this reason, since 2015, the price war in some production areas has become more intense than ever, with 800 × 800mm polished brick falls below 11 yuan / piece, 300 × 600mm porcelain chips fell below 2.3 yuan / piece... The product price reached the lowest value in history and was in a state of low profit.

In 2016, the ceramic sales market further weakened, but the dividend of the continuous decline in production costs began to gradually lose. With the recent sharp rise in "coal price" and "logistics freight", some ceramic enterprises that have been in a state of low profit or even no profit began to fidget, and began to plan to relieve the operating pressure through product price increases.

In fact, not only coal and logistics, but also the supply prices of most raw and auxiliary materials have been rising to varying degrees in recent years. In addition, the continuous increase of environmental protection pressure, the continuous rise of labor costs, and the contraction of the payment settlement cycle of suppliers have greatly increased the operating pressure of ceramic enterprises.

The person in charge of a ceramic enterprise in Gao'an, Jiangxi, frankly told our reporter that the current growth of various costs such as coal, allocated to each square meter of ceramic tiles, will directly increase the production cost by at least 1 yuan. Taking an enterprise with five ceramic tile production lines and a total daily output of 100000m2 as an example, the annual profit will be reduced by at least 30million yuan. For ceramic enterprises that are extremely sensitive to production costs, the current situation is undoubtedly a fatal blow.

① The coal price hit the bottom and rebounded, with a sharp rise of 100~200 yuan per ton

The coal market, which had been steadily falling in price, finally began to rebound after being regulated by the "visible hand" of relevant state departments. Recently, the coal purchase price of the national building ceramics industry has been rising. According to our reporter's knowledge from several production areas, the coal purchase price of ceramic enterprises generally rose by 100~200 yuan / ton.




▲ "coal" and "logistics" are the two hottest topics in the building ceramics industry. The soaring prices of the two have a profound impact on the development situation of the building ceramics industry. (pictures from the Internet)

As one of the upstream industries related to ceramics, the coal market has been extremely poor in the past few years due to overcapacity and other reasons. However, this situation has gradually changed since this year.

According to financial media reports, since the second quarter, the national coal price has continued to rise. Compared with the trough period, the increase has generally reached 20-30%. The media even used "coal crazy" to describe the current situation of continuous rise in coal prices. The rapid rise in coal prices also exceeded the expectations of many people in the industry.

"I thought (coal) prices would rise this year, but I didn't expect that they would rise so fast." A Jiangxi coal agent told our reporter that the rapid rise in coal prices caught many ceramic enterprises by surprise.

Many coal suppliers in Foshan introduced to our reporter that affected by environmental protection, coal mine production expansion, overcapacity, coal chemical downturn, impact of imported coal, transportation costs, etc., coal prices have been falling steadily in the past 8 years, from 1400 yuan / ton in the peak period in 2008 to 500 yuan / ton in the first half of this year.

It is recalled that in 2008, due to the holding of the Beijing Olympic Games and the blizzard attack, China's coal resources supply showed an unprecedented tension, and the coal market was booming. During this period, the coal price of ceramic enterprises created a historical sky high price of more than 1400 yuan / ton. Subsequently, the coal price began to fall all the way. By the end of 2013, the lump coal (gasification coal) used in ceramic production in Guangdong began to fall below the 1000 yuan per ton mark, which was more than 900 yuan at the beginning of 2014, fell to more than 700 yuan in the second half of 2014, and then fell to more than 600 yuan in the second half of 2015. Compared with the peak period, the coal price in the trough period fell by nearly 60%.

As a coal supplier, chenweisen, chairman of Foshan kailiwei Trading Co., Ltd., told our reporter that since August, coal prices have skyrocketed. Now the coal prices supplied to ceramic enterprises are about 750 yuan / ton, while this year, when the price was the lowest, it was less than 600 yuan / ton, an increase of more than 150 yuan / ton.

A ceramic chemical enterprise in Jiangxi told our reporter that its coal was purchased from Nantong, Jiangsu Province. Three or four months ago, the price was 431 yuan / ton, but now it has soared by 586 yuan / ton, or 35%. A coal trader in Gansu also said that the sales price of lump coal in this region was only 350 yuan / ton in May and June this year, but now it is as high as 480 yuan / ton, an increase of 37%.

Lisheng (a pseudonym), the person in charge of a large coal supply enterprise in Foshan, introduced that the price of coal supplied to ceramic enterprises is generally maintained at more than 700 yuan per ton. However, the price fluctuates greatly. The high quality of coal can be determined according to the indicators of volatile matter, fixed carbon, moisture and calorific value of coal. Some high-quality coal can be sold to 800 yuan per ton.

In addition, whether to issue invoices, the credit rating of ceramic enterprises and the payment collection cycle will also affect the coal price. Li Sheng told reporters that for some ceramic enterprises with good reputation and easy collection, they usually give certain price concessions.

"The production cost of ceramic tiles per square meter shall be increased by at least 0.5 yuan"

Why has the coal price soared recently? According to Chen Weisen's analysis, the main reason is that in April this year, the state issued the coal de capacity policy, requiring coal production enterprises to produce no more than 276 (original 330) working days a year, reducing daily production, resulting in the reduction of coal supply and a tight balance between market supply and demand. Secondly, the large-scale high-temperature weather this summer has driven the increase of civil power demand, which has led to the increase of coal market demand during the peak summer.

It is reported that after the previous vigorous regulation and control by the government, the operation of the coal industry is becoming more and more standardized. Under the background of substantial capacity compression, the inventory of many coal ports across the country is in urgent need, and the phenomenon of queuing for goods is common.

The resulting sharp rise in coal prices has caused many low-cost and low profit ceramic enterprises to panic.

The person in charge of production of a well-known ceramic enterprise in Foshan calculated an account with the reporter: Based on the current large capacity production line, the monthly coal consumption of a line is 2000 tons. According to the current market price, the coal price increases by 200 yuan per ton, and the monthly production cost of each line will increase by 400000 yuan. Based on the 10 month production cycle, the annual production cost of each line will increase by 4million yuan. "Some large ceramic enterprise groups with more production lines will increase their production costs by tens of millions of yuan a year."

The increased cost of 400000 yuan per month for each line is shared equally on the unit ceramic tile. Based on the production line with a daily output of 20000m2, the monthly output is 600000 m2, and the production cost of ceramic tile per square meter is directly increased by 0.66 yuan. Even if ceramic enterprises continue to reduce costs in various ways, the production cost of ceramic tiles per square meter will increase by at least 0.5 yuan. "The current reality is that in the fierce price battle, many ceramic enterprises may not have a profit of 0.5 yuan /m2."

Will it continue to rise in the future?

While the coal price is rising, the life of suppliers is not easy.

It is reported that the cooperation between coal suppliers and ceramic enterprises is a block transaction, and the transaction volume between them is usually more than ten million yuan, which has a higher requirement on the financial strength of agents, "at least more than 10million yuan is required." Li Sheng told reporters that ceramic enterprises usually have a three-month deposit period. If the financial strength of agents is poor, it is easy to cause a poor capital chain and great economic risk.

Some coal suppliers admitted that although the price of coal supplied to ceramic enterprises soared, the purchase price of coal also soared by more than 30%. With the rise of production costs, ceramic enterprises also transferred part of the operating pressure to suppliers, deliberately lowering the coal price. In addition, it is difficult to collect money and has a long cycle, which has brought them huge operational risks.

Chenweisen also confirmed that in the past two years, a number of weak coal suppliers in the ceramic industry have quit. "Because the coal price has been highly transparent, not only the profit margin has been greatly reduced, but also the business risk has increased year by year."

In the view of many coal suppliers, coal prices will continue to grow in the future. "The recent increase in logistics and transportation costs will add fuel to the increase in coal prices. Secondly, the north is about to enter winter, and the heating demand of residents will further unbalance the relationship between coal supply and demand and push up coal prices."

Chenweisen told the reporter that once the coal price rises, it will be difficult to decline rapidly in the short term. With the changes of logistics and manual mining costs, the coal price may be in a floating state in the future.



② "The most stringent overload restriction order in history" came, and the freight rate soared by more than 35%

Since September 21, the regulations on the administration of over limit transport vehicles on roads, known as the "strictest overload order in history", has been officially implemented, which has had a significant impact on the development of the logistics transportation industry and all walks of life.




▲ with the implementation of the regulations on the administration of over gauge transport vehicles on roads, the unit price of ceramic tile freight has increased by 33.6%. In addition to taxes, the unit price of transport has increased by at least 35%-38%.

"In theory, the freight rate will increase by at least 35%, but in practice, it may be difficult to achieve"

Since the news of "overload limit" was issued, some ceramic enterprises have reminded dealers to step up preparation before the formal implementation of the new regulations to reduce the transportation cost of ceramics. According to the conversion in the industry, if the new regulations are strictly implemented, the ceramic transportation cost will increase by more than 30%.

Take the 13 meter semi-trailer as an example. After the introduction of the new regulations, the total weight shall not exceed 49 tons and the total height shall not exceed 4 meters. While the original total weight (55 tons) - wagon (16.5 tons) = actual load (38.5 tons), assuming that the freight cost is 100 yuan / ton, the original total freight is 3850 yuan / vehicle; Assuming that the total freight amount remains unchanged, the upper limit of the actual load according to the new regulations is only 28.8 tons [[total amount (49 tons) - wagons (16.5 tons)] × 4/4.5], that is to say, the transportation cost per ton of ceramic tiles has risen to 133.6 yuan, and the actual freight unit price has increased by 33.6%. With the corresponding increase in taxes, the transportation unit price has increased by at least 35%-38%.

According to the regulations on the administration of over gauge transport vehicles on roads, the unit price of 13m semi-trailer will increase by at least 35%-38% after the implementation of the new regulations. However, according to our reporter, this is only the theoretical growth data. In the actual cooperation between ceramic enterprises and logistics companies, this growth value is far from being reached. The relevant person in charge of a freight company in Chancheng District of Foshan frankly said that according to the new regulations, the increase in the transportation unit price should be 35%-38%, but in the face of customers, it is expected that it is difficult to have such a high increase, actually or only 15%-20%.

On September 22, the second day after the formal implementation of the new regulations, our reporter visited several logistics cities in Foshan and learned that the implementation of the regulations on the administration of roads for out of gauge transport vehicles in Guangdong Province was different. Some places said they had "received the documents" and responded positively, adjusting the transportation unit price, while some places said they had "not received" and did not take any price adjustment.

The person in charge of a freight company in Shunde, Foshan, told the reporter that relevant documents had been received, and the logistics unit price had been strictly implemented and adjusted accordingly. However, the current price increase is only aimed at the long-distance transportation unit price. Taking Foshan fachuan as an example, the current 180 yuan / ton is adjusted from 160 yuan / ton before the implementation of the new regulations. However, the unit price of short distance transportation, especially in Guangdong Province, has not been adjusted yet.

As we all know, the price given by ceramic enterprises to dealers is ex factory price, which does not include freight. Dealers usually contact and arrange logistics by themselves. In this regard, the impact of the new regulations on ceramic enterprises is negligible. What has a great impact on ceramic enterprises is the transportation of raw materials. At present, the overall production cost of ceramics is rising by a certain margin. On the one hand, the price of raw materials is rising, on the other hand, the logistics cost is increasing.

Increase in warehouse transfer fee - the freight from Jiangmen to Foshan will increase by 1 yuan /m2

After the implementation of the new regulations, both ceramic raw material suppliers and ceramic enterprises hope to maximize the tonnage of one-time transportation, mainly to save transportation costs. In addition, once Guangdong Province strictly implements the regulations on the administration of over gauge transport vehicles on roads, the rise in logistics costs will also have a variety of impacts on ceramic enterprises, such as the corresponding increase in logistics costs for warehouse adjustment. According to the calculation of insiders, if ceramic enterprises transport their products from factories in Heyuan, Jiangmen and other places to warehouses in Foshan, the cost of ceramic tiles per square meter will increase by 1 yuan.

In addition, the new regulations are strictly implemented. Logistics companies or drivers usually dare not overload rashly - a fine of 500 yuan will be imposed for each ton of overload, 30000 yuan will be capped, and the driver will be deducted points.

The unit price of long-distance automobile transportation in some provinces and across provinces has also been readjusted. The reporter found that the Liaoning Provincial Highway Administration Bureau officially launched the joint law enforcement work in the whole province on September 21. The five departments in Qinghai Province also jointly launched a one-year special action to rectify the Illegal Refitting of trucks and the illegal overloading of Road Trucks, comprehensively promoted the joint law enforcement of the road police, and uniformly identified the illegal acts in accordance with the latest standards for identifying overloads, We will severely crack down on illegal acts of overloaded vehicles driving on the road.

It can be seen that the cost of long-distance transportation across provinces is bound to increase significantly. However, a person in charge of a ceramic enterprise said that this would not affect the sales of ceramic tiles. The key is that the new regulations should be implemented nationwide without discrimination, as well as the rise in logistics costs. After the implementation of the new regulations, the increase in logistics costs is more reflected in the terminal, and promotes the increase in the price of terminal ceramic products.

The sales radius is reduced, and the regionalization of the brand is more obvious

In fact, from the pressure and attention of Foshan enterprises, compared with the increase of coal price, the increase of logistics freight can have a significant impact on the development of the building ceramics industry.

Huoaihong, general manager of Guangdong Wittenberg ceramic brand, said that the profit margin of ceramic enterprises in Guangdong production area is usually controlled reasonably. Generally speaking, the coal price increases by 100~200 yuan per ton. Although it has a certain impact on the production cost of enterprises, it will not be too great.

In general, if the sharp rise in coal prices has a great impact on many regional brands that "compete for scale, capacity, low profits, and over rely on the wholesale model", then the rise in logistics freight will have a great impact on many national brands with Guangdong production area as the main concentration.

Analysts said that whether it is the rise in coal prices or the rise in logistics costs, the country is a game of chess. To some extent, it is more favorable for Foshan's enterprises that used to operate more regularly and develop more healthily. However, unlike other production areas, Foshan brand has always been a national layout, and the rising logistics cost will make the brand regionalization trend more obvious. In this regard, the rising logistics cost is greatly detrimental to Foshan ceramic enterprises.

Yangguangzhong, chairman of Foshan Jiufang tile industry, said frankly that taking Jiufang tile industry as an example, it has been following the road of high-end and brand development. Relatively speaking, the products have high added value and profit space. The rise of coal price has little impact on it. However, the rise of logistics freight will weaken the competitive advantage of products in remote areas and affect the national layout of brands.

Mr. Li, the marketing general manager of a well-known ceramic enterprise in Foshan, calculated to the reporter that the freight per ton of products from Foshan to remote areas such as the northwest and southwest is at least fivehundred yuan, at a rate of 800 yuan × Based on the fact that each 800mm floor tile weighs 30 kg, the increase in freight will lead to an increase of more than 5 yuan per square meter in the purchase price of floor tiles by dealers in these regions. At a time when the cost is rising rapidly, it is obviously a huge expense.

Relatively speaking, the competitiveness of Foshan products in the northern region will be weakened. For some regional brands, the market sales radius will also shrink, and the regionalization trend of brand and product sales will be more obvious.

Pushing up the price of raw materials and compressing the engineering profits of ceramic enterprises

Moreover, due to the large-scale import and export of ceramic production, raw materials are mostly purchased within the range of 600~800 kilometers. The rise of logistics freight also promotes the synchronous rise of raw material prices. A raw material supplier told the reporter that the freight rate rise will push up the raw material price by 10%~20%.

In addition, in the process of cooperation with real estate companies, the profits of ceramic enterprises will also be compressed. "We have carried out engineering cooperation with Evergrande, Longguang, Vanke, poly and other large real estate companies. The contract signing period is generally one year. During the contract period, the product price shall not change, and the freight shall be paid by the ceramic manufacturers. The rise in freight rates will cause a considerable loss of profits." The head of the Engineering Department of a well-known ceramic enterprise in Foshan told reporters.

While the price of automobile transportation has risen sharply, in the face of some remote areas, ceramic enterprises may choose railway transportation and sea transportation. In contrast, although rail transit is slow in efficiency, long in cycle and high in damage rate, its advantage lies in its low freight rate. "Taking the transportation from Foshan to Chengdu as an example, the railway transportation is 20% cheaper than the automobile transportation, but the time consumption is doubled." Some ceramic enterprises said that they would also consider railway transportation when they had to.

On the whole, in the face of the rise of logistics freight and the weakening of transport capacity, the biggest beneficiary may be railway transportation. Some industries with low transport requirements began to consider cooperation with railway transportation companies.

In the view of the logistics industry, the overload restriction has both advantages and disadvantages for the development of logistics enterprises: the advantage is that after the load restriction, the service life of vehicles will increase and the incidence of traffic accidents will decrease; The disadvantage is that under the current economic situation, it is difficult to achieve a substantial increase in logistics transportation costs, and a considerable number of orders and customers will be lost.


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