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Analysis and Forecast of Graphite Electrode Market from January to May 2021

1. Price analysis

From January to May of 2021, China's graphite electrode market prices show an overall upward trend. As of June 10, 2021, the mainstream price of China's graphite electrodes with a diameter of 300-600mm: ordinary power 1,6000-18,000 yuan/ton; high-power 18,000-21,000 yuan/ Tons; ultra-high power 21000-28000 yuan/ton; ultra-high power 700mm graphite electrode 32000-33000 yuan/ton.

China's graphite electrode market price index is 22,286, an increase of 3.83% from the same period last month, an increase of 42.79% from the beginning of the year, and an increase of 48.71% from the same period last year.

From the perspective of raw materials,the prices of low-sulfur petroleum coke, coal pitch, and needle coke, from January to April 2021, all showed an upward state. The cost is fully supported the upward trend prices of electrodes.

Since May, the price of low-sulfur petroleum coke, a raw material for graphite electrodes, has fallen. In addition, it is reported that electric furnace steel plants currently have a small amount of graphite electrodes in stock, and the graphite electrode market has increased wait-and-see sentiment.

The pace of market price adjustment has slowed down, and individual orders of small and medium-sized graphite electrode companies have been lowered prices by downstream enterprises.
However, the prices of needle coke and coal pitch are still high, and the pressure of high cost in the graphite electrode market is superimposed on lower prices in the downstream market. As a result, the overall profit of the graphite electrode market is still meager, and mainstream graphite electrode companies still have the willingness to increase price.

2. Production analysis

From January to May of 2021, China's graphite electrode market output has shown steady growth.

From January to May of 2021, China's total output of graphite electrodes was 421,200 tons, an increase of 119,500 tons over the same period of the previous year, an increase of 39.61%. Among them, the total output of RP graphite electrode was 54,600 tons, an increase of 0.91 million tons from the same period last year, an increase of 19.91%; the total output of HP graphite electrode was 110,800 tons, an increase of 34,600 tons from the same period last year, an increase of 45.40%; the total output of UHP graphite electrode 255,800 tons, an increase of 75,800 tons over the same period last year, an increase of 42.14%.
Among them, China's graphite electrode output increased significantly in March-April, and its influencing factors were mainly the following two points:

On the one hand, the EU’s anti-dumping investigation against Chinese graphite electrode companies has not yet been determined. Once the ruling is established, China’s graphite electrode companies will be subject to high anti-dumping duties, and China’s graphite electrode exports to the EU will be greatly reduced. Some companies in the EU have stocking activities. . Many Chinese graphite electrode companies also said that export orders for graphite electrodes increased in March. According to customs statistics, China's graphite electrode exports in March 2021 were 52,900 tons, an increase of 103.50% month-on-month and an increase of 38.66% year-on-year.
On the other hand, downstream demand for graphite electrodes gradually recovered in March, and demand for graphite electrodes increased. After the Ching Ming Festival, the downstream steel prices of graphite electrodes have risen, the profits of electric furnace steel plants have rebounded, the operating rate was good, and the purchase demand for graphite electrodes has increased. Companies increase output based on their own order status to ensure shipments.

In May, the downstream graphite electrode market was just in demand, and mainstream graphite electrode companies had sufficient orders. Most companies in the graphite electrode market remained basically stable in production. Some small and medium-sized graphite electrode companies planned to reduce their output slightly under the pressure of high graphite electrode production costs and downstream wait-and-see emotions.

3. Supply and demand

From January to May of 2021, the overall demand of China's graphite electrode market has shown a steady and positive trend, and the supply has continued to be tight.

From January to March in 2021, due to environmental restrictions, weather, and the Spring Festival, China's graphite electrode companies are relatively modest in production, and some companies are waiting for production. At this time, the average operating rate of downstream electric furnace steels of graphite electrodes has steadily rebounded, and the demand for graphite electrodes Gradually increase, the tight supply of some product specifications in the graphite electrode market continues;

Steel prices rose sharply in April, and the profit of electric furnace steel increased significantly. Electric furnace steel mills are in a better mood to purchase graphite electrodes. At this time, mainstream graphite electrode companies have sufficient orders, and some companies have already placed orders until May, and the supply of ultra-high-power small and medium-sized specifications is still tight;

In May, the steel operating rate of China's electric furnace steel mills was at a high level, with an average operating rate of about 70%, which is relatively strong for supporting the graphite electrode market. Graphite electrode companies basically maintain stable production, and the supply and demand of graphite electrode market are basically stable. Some graphite electrode companies say that UHP small and medium-sized specifications are still out of stock, and the overall supply of graphite electrode market is in a tightly balanced state. In addition, some graphite electrodes stated that due to the overhaul of needle coke companies in the United Kingdom, imported needle coke will arrive at port around July to August, resulting in restrictions on the current production of UHP large-size graphite electrodes.

Market outlook

Seeing through the current overall situation of China's graphite electrode market, due to the wait-and-see sentiment of the market, some small and medium-sized graphite electrode companies mainly maintain stable prices in the short term. However, the overall cost of the graphite electrode market is high and profits are low. There is still room for the price of graphite electrodes to increase. With the weak supply of graphite electrodes and the support of downstream demand, the prices of graphite electrodes are still steadily improving, and the rate of increase is expected 1000 yuan/ton.

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