As part of the Q&A round for the second session of Global Graphite Electrode Conference 2018 being conducted by SteelMint Events, Joey Xiao, Vice General Manager Sinbro International China and Liang Wang, Manager International Sales IC Carbon, China responded to questions from the delegates and present China’s perspective on the present situation in the industry.
Are Chinese Pollution norms acting as a catalyst for upturn in GE sector?
The environment pollution in china was quite high two to three years back. Focus has shifted from GDP to health in China. Earlier it was not so. When I drove at 6 am, visibility was not more than 5 metres. The pollution was very serious. But now it is already getting better. EAF is more environment friendly. In the long run pollution would play a big role in government decision making. BF capacity would go down. But it will take time.
The Chinese government acted on smaller mill, which do not have recycling facilities etc. or proper technology. The government forced them to shut shop.
Is there any difference in UHP and HP grade of GE in China as against the rest of the world?
So it depends on the effectiveness and the usage. Where you are using the electrode matters in determining output. The effectiveness of the plant plays a role. In china we also have a standard for what type of GE we use in what sector. Another factor is where the GE is being procured from. The kind plant that is producing the product in China.
Why is UHP in China equal to HP in India do they follow different standards?
We have already supplied to quite a few Asian countries but there have been no such reports. All of them buy UHP. I don’t think there is a difference in quality. There are a few mills which are not that good. But as long as it is being bought from right mills there is no problem.
Is the China Govt concerned with rising cost of GE? Can China turn importer?
Chinese GE prices increased a lot. Even the stock market was concerned and even in India it was the same. The Chinese govt is concerned. Because steel industry is a main industry in China. So it also influnces the steel sector at large. We are also concerned because we will not be able to buy raw material. Speaking interms of China. This is a serious concern for the govt. But this is just one industry. China considers a lot of other trade industry. So the policy is determined by many factors. We are also focusing on healthy society. So if we will increase production or go for import is not sure. But right now imports wont be a lot.
Are Chinese companies cutting production because of excessive capacity and Anti dumping?
Other countries in the world are rising at a great pace but China it is quite slow. China in the long run they are controlling capacity. The govt is trying to speak to other countries to shift their capacity to other countries. So that they can encourage employment for other countries and to facilitate Chinese migration to other countries. This can be one way to control capacity. This is mostly discussion among people. Statistics show that rate of growth has declined significantly.
Reports suggest more than 300,000 capacity has been closed in china is it true ?
So far as we know it is true. Most of the mills are losing a lot of money. Many mills have not been announced bankrupt but they are already there. Because the govnt check is very stringent and regular. Because the real term figure is this. There are several other places where the use this. So for example in china. There are several entreprises which have closed down.
Due to recent clamp down is EAF capacity is expected to grow?
Capacity is expected to grow to 137 MnT in 2018 compared to 120 MnT in 2017
What is the production ?
According to our statistics, from 2017 onwards the ratio was 6 % in 2017 it came up to 7.5 % it would go to 10% in 2018 in 2020 it would go to 13%. Gradually we are incrasing every year. Because of the importance given to environments but the EAF production is also increasing gradually.
Does China have the capability or technology to produce UHP grade of GE which can actually be sold overseas and complete with other producers?
At present China is already manufacturing different kind of products. There does not seem to be problems in production. Primarly because Chinese graphite electricity utility of China has no problem with technology or raw materials.
Scrap generation is very high in China – 340 mnt scrap is expected by 2030? Export duty is 40% for scrap? Where is China going to get EAF to consume this scrap?
We do talk about production of scrap but it is a little difficult to say. There is over supply and that’s why we are trying to include other countries. The OBOR is also part of this policy.
Can China be net importer of GE?
It is a bit difficult to import. Because price from other countries has to be low enough to cover duties etc. Atleast for next 1 to 3 years we don’t see it happening.
What is needle coke demand from China for Lithium Ion?
It is about 60% earlier but it has reduced to 40% now.