SteelMint has heard from its sources that after the Graphite electrodes (GE) prices in China turned stable last week amid government’s liquidity boost in the economy, the decline in domestic steel prices and ample steel availability has once again driven down the country’s GE prices.
The electrodes prices this week have fallen down by RMB 2,000-5,000/MT (USD 295 – 740/MT). The prevailing prices of UHP grade GE of size 450mm is RMB 40,000-42,000/MT (USD 5,915-6,210/MT) and that of 600mm is RMB 75,000-90,000/MT (USD 11,090 -13,300/MT).
The GE prices in China have been falling especially from mid-Nov’18 with the start of winter heating season that restricts the steel production in an attempt to control pollution. According to the market sources, in the short run, the Chinese electrodes prices are likely to maintain stable but weak trend.
The supply of needle coke in China continues to remain tight and thus its prices have maintained a stable trend. The domestic prices of needle coke in China are heard at RMB 29,000 – 30,000/MT (USD 4,290 – 4,435/MT) whereas imported offers are at RMB 35,000/MT (USD 5,170/MT).
In case of coal tar pitch which is a raw material for needle coke, its prices are also anticipated to remain stable in spite of poor downstream demand. The mainstream prices for Chinese coal tar pitch are heard at RMB 4,100 – 4,200/MT (USD 600 – 615/MT).