Barium Silicon Market Review in 2022 and Outlook in 2023

Analysis of barium silicon market 2023-1-3: Looking back at the trend of silicon-barium alloys in 2022, both high-barium and low-barium alloys show a situation of being strong first and then weak. On the one hand, the economic environment at home and abroad is not good, and the profits of steel companies and foundry companies are weak. Therefore, the consumption of upstream high and low barium alloys is limited, and the high barium market has been in a state of oversupply for a long time. The changes are obvious, and the demand for low barium is weak. on the other hand. Under the impact of repeated epidemics, the pressure on market supply and demand has been aggravated, and the low barium market has fallen into a situation of both supply and demand, and the restraining effect of ferrosilicon on it has weakened. However, due to the relatively optimistic production capacity and production capacity of high-barium alloys, but the demand is difficult to keep up with, the market supply and demand matching degree is not high, resulting in repeated declines in prices.

1. Review of silicon barium market

(1) High barium

The first quarter: In the early days of the spring break, the price of raw materials was strongly supported, and the demand was also quickly released under the stimulation of stocking up before the year. The spot circulation resources in the high-barium market were in short supply. With the blessing of upstream and downstream, the price of high-barium alloys went up. After the festival, the transaction of factories was weak, and the volume of new orders did not pick up. In order to consume the inventory produced during the Chinese New Year, some factories had to cut prices to attract transactions. However, the downstream steel enterprises recovered slowly, and the sales effect was not significant. overhaul. In March, as the weather got warmer, the market demand began to pick up. In addition, some factories in Gansu were affected by the epidemic and stopped production. The market supply was tight again, and the raw material semi-coke also showed an upward trend. Therefore, high-barium factories were not willing to ship at low prices. During the first quarter, the overall increase of high barium was about 1,500 yuan/ton.

The second quarter: After the Winter Paralympic Games, the pressure of the epidemic situation followed, the supply and demand of the high barium market showed a weak state, and the actual transaction price of the factory narrowed down. During the May 1st holiday, the downstream inquiry was deserted, and Henan, the main consumption area, was also restrained by the epidemic situation, which greatly reduced the consumption of high barium. During this period, high barium factories basically resumed production, and the market output was sufficient, but the pace of demand was difficult to keep up. The volume is gradually increasing, the factory is under pressure, and the quotation and transaction price continue to decline. In the second quarter alone, the overall decline of high barium is about 1,400 yuan/ton.

The third quarter: the July-August period coincides with the off-season of traditional consumption, and the trend of high barium alloys “falls and falls”. Although some factories implemented the shutdown plan during July, the decline did not ease. Due to the sluggish market demand, the silicon-barium inventory is at a high level, and the factory sells it at a low price, but the digestion speed is not optimistic. Until September, the downstream demand picked up slightly, but Gansu factories resumed production at a slow pace, and the production areas were mainly concentrated in Inner Mongolia. The supply in the high barium market was slightly tight, and the price rebounded slightly. Although some Gansu factories resumed normal production in September, However, the obstruction of product output under the epidemic did not put pressure on market supply and demand. During the third quarter, the overall decline of high barium alloy was about 1,800 yuan/ton.

Fourth quarter: During the fourth quarter, high barium prices first became strong and then weakened. In October, firstly, under the influence of the epidemic, there were fewer spot circulation resources in the market, secondly, the price of raw semi-coke was supported, and thirdly, the price of ferrosilicon rose, which was positive for the silicon-barium market. However, as the market operating rate increased, the inventory of some factories increased day by day, and the terminal demand was weak, so the factory quotations and transaction prices were slightly lowered. In December, the market still showed a phenomenon of strong supply and weak demand, but now the market price has approached the cost, and the price decline has slowed down. Some factories are under great operating pressure and are forced to switch production. During the fourth quarter, the price of high barium alloy dropped by about 200 yuan/ton.

(2) Low barium

The first quarter: In the early days of the Spring Festival, the demand for low-barium alloys remained strong. The market spot resources were very scarce, and raw material prices rose. Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Ningxia and other low-barium factories closed their orders and suspended orders. After the festival, due to the good price, some enterprises were attracted to start production of low-barium alloys. However, due to the proximity of large silicon-barium factories in Inner Mongolia to the epidemic area, it was difficult to import and export products, which made the market supply still tight, and other enterprises put more orders for production. Affected by the epidemic, the contradiction between supply and demand in the low barium market has weakened and tended to be saturated. During the first quarter, the overall price of low-barium alloys did not change much, with an increase of about 200 yuan/ton.

The second quarter: During April, under the influence of environmental protection in Qinghai and maintenance in Ningxia, there were very few manufacturers of low-barium alloys, and the market was seriously short of stock. In May, the low-barium market started to resume work, and factory quotations were also slightly lowered with the increase in output, but the price was still at a high level compared with ferrosilicon, and downstream processing plants hesitated to purchase. Some inoculant companies still chose high-barium ferrosilicon mixed products, reducing Low barium consumption, coupled with the poor efficiency of the foundry market this year, the downstream price is obviously lowered, and the factory has to lower the quotation according to the market. In June, as the price of ferrosilicon continued to fall, the wait-and-see mentality of the downstream was strong, and the purchase intention was not high, and the transaction price of low barium continued to weaken.

The third quarter: During the off-season of casting from July to August, the transaction of low-barium alloy was flat. Even if the price of ferrosilicon and raw material semi-coke rose, it was difficult to drive the market price of low-barium upward. The overall market transaction performance was relatively stalemate. During September, the demand of foundries increased slightly, the supply and demand of the low barium market tended to be balanced, and the price rose slightly with the raw material semi-coke.

The fourth quarter: During the fourth quarter, the overall trend of low-barium alloys was stable, and the frequency of price fluctuations was small and the range was not large. After the National Day, the price of low-barium alloy rose slightly, mainly due to the rise in the price of ferrosilicon and the obstruction of transportation under the epidemic. The price of ferrosilicon weakened in November, coupled with the weak demand from downstream foundries, the price of low-barium alloys loosened slightly. After that, the market has maintained a stable posture for a long time under the situation of weak supply and demand.

2. The output of silicon barium market in 2022

(1) 2021-2022 silicon barium start-up comparison

In terms of the comparison between the start-up of the silicon-barium market in 2021 and 2022, compared with last year, the market start-up rate is generally higher this year, mainly due to the high start-up rate of high-barium alloys, and the start-up rate of low-barium alloys is at a lower position. Since the beginning of this year, due to the relatively weak market environment, the Gansu High Barium Plant had two concentrated shutdowns in April and August, which made the start of the month lower than last year. In 2021, under the influence of dual energy consumption control and power rationing policies, the market operating rate will generally be low. The average operating rate of the silicon-barium market in 2022 is about 62.33%, an increase of 13.57% from 2021 (48.76%).

(2) Comparison of silicon and barium production in 2021-2022

Judging from the comparison of silicon-barium alloy output in 2021 and 2022, the total output of silicon-barium alloy is about 144,050 tons from January to December 2022, and the total output of silicon-barium alloy in 2021 is about 140,150 tons, a year-on-year increase of about 3,900 tons. During 2022, the market will be greatly affected by the downturn and the epidemic. The output in the second and third quarters is significantly lower than that in the first and fourth quarters.

(3) Inventory of barium silicon in 2022

As far as the inventory situation of the silicon-barium market this year is concerned, generally speaking, the silicon-barium inventory is relatively abundant, especially during the off-season period from July to August, when the downstream consumption power is insufficient, and the high inventory digestion speed is slow. The inventory data is dominated by high-barium alloys, and the inventory of low-barium alloys has been at a low level for a long time.

3. Prospect of barium silicon market in 2023

High barium: With the continuous optimization of epidemic prevention measures and the slow recovery of social operations, factories have certain expectations for long-term economic recovery. On the other hand, the introduction of some financial support policies has increased downstream consumption momentum, which may drive the front-end raw material market to stabilize and improve. In addition to policy and epidemic factors, market supply and demand and costs are also a major factor affecting the price trend of high barium. It is expected that high barium will stabilize in the short term. In the latter part of the second quarter, the high barium market may usher in a turn for the better driven by the economic recovery, and the market may maintain a stable and positive situation.

Low barium: The main factor that currently constrains low barium alloys is still demand. The fierce competition on the road of transformation and upgrading of the foundry industry, coupled with the continuous impact of the epidemic in recent years, has made the foundry market less profitable. The current epidemic control has become a thing of the past, and the market constraints on both supply and demand have weakened. It is expected that the market demand for low-barium alloys is expected to boost next year, but the focus still needs to be on the release of orders in the demand-side market and changes in the later trend of ferrosilicon.


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