Graphite electrode prices in China decrease in January, stability or higher prices expected in Q1

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 22:52:23 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

On December 12, SteelOrbis reported that average domestic graphite electrode prices in China declined compared to mid-November. Prices for HP (high-powered) 450 graphite grade were reportedly at an average price of RMB 60,000/mt ($8,721/mt) and UHP (ultra-high powered) 600 graphite was reportedly at an average price of RMB 100,000/mt ($14,535/mt), all prices ex-warehouse.

According to a recent early January report, HP 450 graphite grade electrodes are reportedly at an average price of RMB 44,000/mt ($6,509/mt) ex-warehouse while UHP 600 graphite grade electrodes are reportedly at RMB 85,000/mt ($12,574/mt) ex-warehouse. HP 450 prices decreased $2,212/mt while UHP 600 prices decreased $1,961/mt.

Due to a liquidity strategy where China’s central bank reduced bank reserve requirements for the fifth time in the last 12 months, the stimulant effect is expected to reduce further domestic downtrends in the economy, including price erosion in the steel industry. The expected improved economic situation in Q1 is expected to maintain graphite prices stable in January.

A source added that Q1 2019 “could see a slight uptick in prices.” He noted that Japan’s Tokai Carbon has recently increased the price of graphite electrodes by approximately 14 percent for Q1 2019 compared to its prevailing prices in the H2 2018 period. It is expected that the higher prices will also carry over into Q2 2019 for Tokai. A basis price range for Tokai prices was not provided to SteelOrbis at time of publication.

USD = RMB 6.88 (Dec 12)

USD = RMB 6.76 (Jan 15)

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