IRON and STEEL
With no major change in China’s downstream steel demand, the overall situation in country’s GE market continues to remain sluggish and the prices prevails to be weak.
At present, although the Chinese electrodes manufacturers have restricted their production due to tepid domestic demand and upcoming National Day holiday (in order to ensure clearer skies), the inventory build up continues in the market especially that of ordinary power and high power small-specifications electrodes.
The Chinese downstream steel demand is not picking up and the off-season for the procurement continues, the procurement enthusiasm is not high, the GE manufacturers are fiercely bidding resulting which the electrodes prices in China have touched new low. On the other hand, the price of ultra-high power large-sized electrodes is less affected and there is small downward adjustment in prices.
According to the market participants based in China, the GE prices in the country are likely to remain subdued for the upcoming months amid production cuts (prior to National Day holidays) and enough inventories with the manufacturers.
The current GE prices of size 450mm UHP grade electrodes are trending at RMB 13,000 – 15,000/MT (USD 1,810 – 2,100/MT) and that of 600mm are at RMB 42,000 – 53,000/MT (USD 5,870 – 7,400/MT) whereas that of 450mm HP grade electrodes are at RMB 13,000 – 14,000/MT (USD 1,800 – 1,960/MT) and of 600mm are at RMB 15,000 – 17,000/MT (USD 2,100 – 2,400/MT).
In case of raw material, the negative sentiments in GE market are weighing down the needle coke prices also. China's domestic needle coke prices are trending at RMB 19,000 – 22,000/MT (USD 2,655 – 3,075/MT). The needle coke demand from China’s anode material industry is relatively stable and is showing a gradual upward trend which is why the fall in needle coke prices are not as dramatic as that of plunge in GE prices.