Graphite Electrode Market Monthly Report (July, 2022)

In July, the domestic graphite electrode market as a whole showed a weak performance. This month, the GE price in domestic market has been reduced by about 300 US dollars / ton. The main reason is that the steel product sale is in slack season, which causes steel mills are not active in purchasing graphite electrodes.Till end of July, the mainstream price of UHP450m with 30% needle coke is 3220-3360 US dollars / ton, UHP600mm is offered 3730-3880  US dollars / ton, and the price of UHP700mm is 4330-4480  US dollars / ton. At the beginning of July, the price of petroleum coke, the upstream raw material of graphite electrode, continued to rise, and needle coke’s price also remained at a high level, which pushes the GE price to run at high level. But blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces are mostly shut down for maintenance, and the demand for graphite electrodes is weak. “Looseness” price offer had been shown in some small and medium-sized graphite electrode companies. Small portion of low price GE shows in the market. But most GE manufacturers are insisting in proper price offer. Leverage between upper stream and lower stream company are sensitive. In the middle and late July, the loss of steel mills further expanded, the market purchasing atmosphere continued to be deserted, in order to maintain the cash flow, some GE manufacturers further reduced the pricewhich caused the whole market price further dropped. Under such circumstance, GE manufactures had no choice but reduced the production to avoid high inventory risk, and made the production plan according to PO requirementNow the profit in anode material market is attractive and some GE manufactures is planning to shift the GE production to anode or anode OEM.

In July, the overall demand of the downstream market of needle coke was weak, and their inventory of early-stage stock purchase was still not used up. Therefore, it was mainly purchased on demand with small orders. By the end of the month, coal based needle coke was 1800 -2170 US dollars / ton, oil-based needle coke was 2000-2250 US dollars / ton, and the price of raw coke was 1310-1650  US dollars / ton. In terms of import price, the price of coal-based needle coke is reduced by 10%: Japan’s is 1700-1800 US dollars / ton and South Korea’s is 1800 US dollars / ton; In terms of oil-based needle coke, Japan’s is 2800-3000 US dollars / ton, Britain’s is 2000-2200 US dollars / ton.

This week, the domestic construction steel market rebounded in seesawing , and the downstream demand improved slightly, but the transaction slowed down after the price increase. As of July 28, the average price of domestic rebar was 610 US dollars/ton, up 15 US dollars/ton from last Friday. In terms of raw materials, the scrap price rose slightly this week, the replenishment of inventory in northern steel plant was relatively active, while the purchase price of Southern steel plant was low. The average purchase price of scrap in electric furnace steel plant increased by 11 US dollars/ton to 380 US dollars/ton (excluding tax) compared with last week. The electric furnace steel plant maintained a profitable state, and the number of resumption production enterprises in East China and West China increased. However, due to the tight source of scrap and weak demand for steel, most manufacturers were in the state of staggered peak production. The recovery of actual output is limited. This week, the utilization rate of electric furnace steel capacity of 135 steel mills across China was 35.41%, up 1.71% from last week, and the output of electric furnace steel was 198600 tons / day, ending the decline for six consecutive weeks. Although the steel market price has rebounded recently, the wait-and-see sentiment in the downstream is still obvious, which is mainly driven by the continuous production reduction of steel mills. Recently, a series of government policies on more money investment in infrastructure and easier conditions for real estate agent are expected to gradually show their effects after mid August. The impact of the superimposed epidemic and high-temperature weather on the market is weakened, and the steel market is expected to truly stabilize and rebound. At that time, the output of electric furnace steel will also usher in significant increase.


Post time: Aug-05-2022