China’s needle coke market analysis from January to May 2021

Pubdate: 06-11 2021

As shown in the figure below, the price of China’s needle coke market continues to rise from January to May 2021

Needle coke price trend 20210607
As of May 31, China’s needle coke electrode coke market price index was 9077, which was 5.34% higher than the same period last month, 53.99% higher than the beginning of the year, and 19.53% higher than the same period last year;

The negative coke market price index is 5250, which is stable from the same period last week, up by 4.76% from the same period last month, up by 22.09% from the beginning of the year, and down by 16.00% from the same period last year.

It is reported that the main reasons are:
Coal pitch:
From January to May of 2021, coal tar pitch prices continue to rise. As of May 31, the coal tar pitch price index has reached 5,412 yuan/ton, an increase of 2,151 yuan/ton from the beginning of the year, a 66.88% increase

As the price of coal tar pitch rises, the cost of needle coke from the coal series has also increased simultaneously, and the low inventory is superimposed.

Slurry:
From January to May 2012, the oil slurry market price was greatly affected by crude oil fluctuations. However, according to relevant companies, the supply of high-quality low-sulfur oil slurry market was tight, and the price rose stably, and the cost of oil-based needle coke also remained high

As of the end of May, the average price of mainstream manufacturers was only slightly higher than the cost line.

From January to May of 2021, China’s electric furnace steel market is heating up. From the perspective of the start of construction, the start of construction after the Spring Festival in February 2021 has risen sharply, and the procurement of graphite electrodes has been tightened

As of May, the average operating rate has remained around 70%. Supported by strong demand in the terminal steel market, China’s needle coke market is dominated by cooked coke, and shipments have accelerated, and purchase orders can be scheduled until January to March.

The domestic output of coke for graphite electrode joints is relatively small. Imported companies have overhauled and the overall supply is tight. As a result, the market price continues to rise.

The market price of imported needle coke will generally increase from January to May in 2021. At the same time, needle coke production in the UK will be suspended for maintenance from February to April. Port inventory is low, and the price of imported needle coke will increase, which will further increase the price of domestic needle coke. Boost market confidence.

On the supply side:

In June 2021, Angang Chemical and Henan Kaitan will start production. At the same time, some new devices will also be put into production one after another. As shown in the table below, the planned production capacity will reach 850,000 tons from June to December 2021, but it will take some time to fully enter the market. Therefore, in the short term, the market supply will maintain the status quo, and it may increase in the second half of 2021.

On the demand side:

From June to December 2021, China’s graphite electrode market prices are still expected to rise to a certain extent. The mid- to high-level operation is about 60% or more, and the demand for needle coke is relatively stable. If the new needle coke device is put on the market normally, needle coke will be released in the short term. The coke market will continue to oversupply; in 2021, China’s lithium battery anode materials are expected to add 591,000 tons of new capacity. 81.53% of the total energy vehicles. In the second half of the year, the traditional consumption peak season for new energy vehicles is “Golden Nine and Silver Ten”. The market for negative electrode materials at the raw material end is still promising in the second half of the year, and the demand for negative coke is improving.

The neddle coke price

As far as the current needle coke market price is concerned, most companies say that in the short term, they are mainly looking for a stable sentiment. Mainstream manufacturers have started operations and shipments are stable. High-quality needle coke is affected by tight supply, and the price is still rising by about 500 yuan. In terms of space, the bulk coke market is still dominated by stable operation, with the operating range of 7500-11000 yuan/ton for cooked coke and 5500-6500 yuan/ton for green coke.


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