In a recent article published by IC Carbon, CCIA( China Carbon Industry Association) reported that Baosteel Chemical Co. is expected to have stable production in January, with needle coke production estimated at 1500-2000 MT and corresponding price of RMB 22,000/MT. It is estimated that the output of needle coke will increase by 20% in 2018.
The user will be mainly anode material manufacturer and graphite electrode manufacturer. In addition, the company will conduct a 25-day overhaul in April.
A longstanding limiting factor to the increase of graphite electrode production is the supply of needle coke, which is limited to a few refineries around the world with only one independent needle coke production facility in the world.
Shortage of needle coke, a form of calcined petroleum coke (CPC), is exacerbating the ability of graphite electrode producers currently operating, to increase production rates to meet demand. Needle coke represents approximately 70% of the input cost of graphite electrode production.
According to China Carbon Industry Association (CCIA), needle coke price sky-rocketed by over 726 percent in 2017 while imported needle coke price lagged behind in rise given its longer order time.
CCIA data shows the total production of China’s needle coke is 143,000 MT in 2017 and needle coke imports were recorded at 170,000 MT. In view of uplifting performance, there has been an expansion boom in China’s needle coke market.
According to CCIA, eight needle coke enterprises, including Jinzhou Chemical, Jingyang Chemical, Baitailong, Hongte Chemical, Baosteel Chemical, Yida New Materials, Fangda C-Chem, etc. have released production resumption, expansion and new production plans. China’s needle coke demand is expected to reach 600,000 MT by 2020.
|Items||Petroleum Coke||Imported Needle Coke|
|RP Graphite Electrode||100%||–|
|HP Graphite Electrode||30%||70%|
|UHP Graphite Electrode||–||70%|