Analysis of world aluminium cable market China set out to set standards
Release time： 2021-12-31 17:54
High copper prices continue to climb
In recent years, especially since 2005, raw material prices in the international market have become more volatile, with prices of copper, gold and other precious metals rising sharply. Since 2005, copper has risen from $2000 / ton to $9000 / ton. In 2008, the economic crisis made the copper price drop from $9000 / ton back to $3000 / ton. However, in 2009, copper price rose from $3000 / ton to $8000 / ton. International copper prices have hit a record high of more than $8,900 per ton.
With the rapid increase of inflationary pressure at present, the price of copper has a strong upward trend, and the cost of copper material in copper cable accounts for more than 70%, so that the price of copper cable is also rising. According to Wei Gang, the current copper price is at a high level, the next six months to a year, the price of copper raw materials will certainly run at a high level. Because copper supply depends on copper mines, resources are limited, and the adoption of WCDMA and LTE technologies in global markets, as well as the rapid development of mobile telecommunications industries in emerging economies, will keep copper demand strong, he said.
How much is the difference between aluminum and copper cables
Faced with rising copper prices and unpredictable future price trends, many cable companies have begun to introduce cheaper aluminum cables. According to Wei Gang, in terms of raw materials, although the price of aluminum also fluctuates, but according to recent observations, the price changes are relatively flat, and the amount of aluminum in nature is very high. "It can be said that as long as there is an electrolytic aluminum industry, there will be a supply of aluminum, and the price of aluminum material is about one-third of that of copper," he said. Not only are there advantages in the supply of raw materials, in the manufacturing aspect, a cable of the same length, the aluminum required is also lighter than copper, generally 30 to 50% lighter, therefore, in the whole transportation and installation process, but also bring energy saving and environmental protection effect for customers. However, Weygand agrees that the overall performance of aluminium cables is slightly lower than that of copper cables. "In terms of the performance of Amversch's own products, aluminium cables have a 3% to 5% decline compared to copper cables," he says. However, Amversch is an international brand and the performance of the copper cable is very good. Although the performance of our aluminum cable is slightly lower, it is still better than the average copper cable in the domestic market, and the performance can meet the needs of our customers."
Weigang also said aluminum cable has other advantages, such as soft material, high strength and compression resistance, and is on the same level as copper cable in the relatively important attenuation rate. "Aluminum cable can be used in almost any situation, especially our bellows aluminum cable, the performance and the whole installation mode is basically on the same level as copper cable, so we don't think aluminum cable is not suitable in some situations," he said. "At present, the Amphusch bellows aluminum cable has passed the strict test of various domestic authorities, including the 23rd Institute of China Electronics Technology Corporation, Shanghai Post and Telecommunications Institute and Theil Laboratory." "Tests show that our corrugated tube aluminum cable meets all technical requirements," Weygand noted.
How big is the market for aluminum cables?
As for the current aluminum cable application market, Weigang said that 80% of the South American market uses aluminum cable. In other countries, large operators such as Telefonica, T-Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, O2, BT and so on have applied, and have accumulated a large number of application cases. At the same time, Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Samsung, MOTOROLA and other system equipment manufacturers have also accepted aluminum cable products. He said the main reason why customers still don't use aluminum cables is the issue of acceptance, especially in developed markets where customers are less price-sensitive and more demanding on performance. Weigang believes that aluminum cable is most suitable for the market or those who have the requirements of cost-effective developing countries, medium developed countries. In the futures prices continue to go up the stage, the price advantage of aluminum cable will usher in more and more market space.
According to him, the current aluminum cable is mainly divided into bellows outer conductor and smooth wall outer conductor two kinds. Bellows aluminum cables are similar to existing copper cables in terms of mechanical properties, installation, etc. At present, Amversch's bellows aluminum cables occupy the vast majority of the global market share, reaching more than 60%. Weygand attributes such remarkable results to Amphersch's leading position in the market and commercial scale, where seamless welding technology is one of the core competencies, as well as consistency throughout research and development, testing, quality control and production.
China is starting to set standards for aluminum cables
As for the future space of aluminum cable in the Chinese market, Wei Gang thinks it mainly depends on other domestic manufacturers to follow up. He said the reason why China Mobile and China Unicom do not use aluminum cable is that there is no national standard for aluminum cable in China and domestic manufacturers do not follow up on aluminum cable technology. But encouragingly, in this year's communication exhibition, many domestic manufacturers have exhibited aluminum cable, can provide aluminum cable manufacturers more and more. According to Wei, China Unicom and China Mobile, as well as some research institutes, are starting to formulate standards for aluminum cables, which may be introduced as new products in the future. Once standards are announced, aluminum cables will have a good opportunity to grow.
The raw material price gap between aluminum and copper has changed dramatically in the past year, and Weygand believes that if copper prices continue to grow at the current pace, the price advantage of aluminum cable will win a very good market share.