R32 Air Conditioner: Worrying prospects after a short period of prosperity


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In 2019, for the household air-conditioning industry, in addition to the overall decline in retail sales,  R32 air-conditioning invaded the R22 and R410A air-conditioning market, and its share has soared to become one of the three major refrigerants in the industry. It is probably also a major change in the industry this year. It is undeniable that in the current domestic air-conditioning market where the "price war" is in full swing, the lower-cost R32 products do have more prominent advantages. Although they are late entrants in the market, they are favored by many air-conditioning companies led by Gree. .

However, in fact, on January 1, 2019, the Kigali amendment has been officially implemented.

As a developing country, China will inevitably begin to freeze and replace HFCs in 2024, so the short-term prosperity of R32 air conditioners can only be regarded as drinking poison to quench thirst, and there are huge hidden dangers behind it.

    R32 air conditioners quickly open the market with cost advantages

It is understood that the industry's views on the respective proportions of R32, R410A and R22 air conditioners in the household air conditioner market are not completely consistent.

For example, a sales manager of Meilan Chemical believes that R410A is now the largest refrigerant used in household air conditioners, accounting for about 50% of the market share, R22 air conditioners have a market share of about 20%, and R32 air conditioners have a market share of about 30%.

According to data provided by the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, in 2018, R22 air conditioners accounted for about 30%, R410A air conditioners accounted for nearly 40%, and R32 air conditioners accounted for about 30%.

Industry Online fluorine chemical analyst Wang Ming estimates that in 2018, the proportion of R22 air conditioners will drop from nearly 40% to about 35%, R410A air conditioners will account for about 30%, and R32 air conditioners will account for about 30%.

The person in charge of Juhua Group believes that the ratio of R22 air conditioners, R410A air conditioners and R32 air conditioners is now 3:3:4.

Although the application proportions of these three refrigerants in the household air-conditioning industry are different in the industry, the R32 air-conditioning market has grown rapidly, reaching or exceeding 30%, which clearly has a consensus in the industry.

The cost advantage of R32 is one of the main reasons why it can quickly open up the territory in the household air-conditioning industry.

An industry insider told the reporter of "Electrical Appliances" that on the one hand, R32 air conditioners have a smaller refrigerant charge than R410A air conditioners, and because it is a single refrigerant, its installation cost is also lower than that of mixed refrigerant R410A air conditioners; on the other hand, 2018 In 2011, the price increase of R22 caused the price of R32 to be lower than that of R22, and the price of R410A was higher than that of R32 because of the higher price of R125 in the mixed ingredients.

At the same time, in 2018, both traditional fluorine chemical production enterprises and non-fluorine chemical enterprises have increased their capacity investment on R32, and the capacity of existing and planned devices far exceeds the demand for household air conditioners. This creates conditions for the R32 price advantage, so downstream complete machine companies convert many R22 and R410A models into R32 models. Gong Wenjun, general assistant of Sinochem's Blue Sky Business Management Center, pointed out that Gree's R32 air-conditioning production capacity is relatively large, while the R32 air-conditioning production capacity of companies such as Midea, Haier and Aux is also growing rapidly.

   Short-term prosperity is not conducive to industrial development

As HFCs refrigerant, R32's transitional status has long been doomed. The parties to the Kigali Amendment, which came into effect on January 1, 2019, have already made practical arrangements for the implementation of the amendment. Among them, China, as a developing country, will begin to freeze the consumption level of HFCs in 2024. In other words, the current prosperity of R32 air conditioners is probably only a flash in the pan.
In this regard, a person in charge of a government bluntly stated that, according to the provisions of the Kigali Amendment, China, as a developing country, must start to phase out HFCs from 2024. The phase-out target is the same as the GWP value of HFCs in the three years from 2020 to 2022. The level is closely related. The GWP value of R32 is 675, and the GWP value of R410A is 1960. If the consumption level of R32 rises sharply, or even exceeds R410A, this will lower the baseline level of HFCs control, which is very unfavorable for the control of HFCs in China's household air-conditioning industry.

Under such a situation, R290, which has been clarified by the Kigali amendment as the main alternative to the household air-conditioning industry, will usher in a big development opportunity. According to an industry insider, the R290 air conditioner has made progress in technology research and development, installation training, and standard certification. In terms of marketization, in 2018, sales of R290 split air conditioners have exceeded 150,000 units, and this value will gradually increase in the future.

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