Global Graphite Electrode Conference 2018 demystifies future market trends
SteelMint Events, for the first time in India, organized an in-depth conference on the subject titled, Global Graphite Electrode Conference, at Mumba.
By: SteelMint Events
GE market on shaky ground: Vivek Jain
Vivek Jain, Associate Director, India Ratings & Research expressed his view on the future course of GE market. According to Jain GE capacity closures in last few years have lead to supply tightness thus pushing prices as part of cyclical market activity and there is limited possibility of any new capacity expansion in GE manufacturing in next 2 to 3 years. Lack of equipment availability for starting GE plant According to Jain is one of the key restricting factors along with. On the other hand, limited Needle coke supply has been restricting GE manufacturers from scaling capacity utilization and capacity augmentation as well. As a result prices of GE may keep rising in Q4 2017, Q1 2018 and Q2 2018.
Higher Use of Chemical Energy in EAF soon: Ramy Saleh
Presenting a global perspective on the Graphite Electrode market Executive Director, El Marakby Steel, Egypt, Ramy Saleh explained to the audience the manner in which importance of GE has grown over the years. He estimated that supply-demand imbalance would likely continue for next few years. According to him, GE Supply has become major concern owing to interruption, delays and cancelation of contracts. Saleh opined that using more chemical energy in place of Electrical energy can emerge as a way out of rising GE cost.
GE price to remain high in China as well: Xiao
Joey Xiao from Sinbro International Limited China stated that there was a rising trend in GE prices in 2018 in China as well. He informed that GE production in China was much lower than actual demand. "Actual output of GE from China was about 550,000 tonnes in 2017 and this would rise to 600,000 tonnes in 2018" he estimated. Xiao believed, expansion in EAF capacity in China exerting pressure on GE. About 15 mnt of fresh capacity is to be approved in China during 2018 taking total EAF production to 137mnt.
SUHP, nitrogen ring can reduce GE loss
Chief Operating Officer, BMM Ispat, India, VS Balarama Krishna and expert in Electric Arc Furnace operation with decades of experience to his credit updated delegates about the latest techniques for reduction of electrode consumption in EAFs. According to him measures to reduce consumption of GE include using better charge mix, Reduce the number of charges, Pre-heating of charge, Introduction of nitrogen distribution ring over arc furnace roof top where electrodes enter to safe guard oxidation. He further explained that converting of old furnace to ultra-high-power furnaces can reduce electrode consumption as old furnace consumption is far high as much as 4 kg per ton of steel.
720,000t GE production expected From China in 2020: Wang
Internationally recognized expert Liang Wang, Manager, International Sales, IC Carbon China, gave valuable insights into the Chinese situation of Graphite Electrode from a consultant's perspective. Wang informed that product prices skyrocketed. It soared from 15,000 yuan/tonne in early 2017 to 150,000 yuan/tonne at the end of August, registering a sweeping rise of 900 percent increase in China. In 2017, the total output of graphite electrodes in the China market amounted to 590,000 tonnes. Among them, the total output of HP and UHP graphite electrodes is about 445,000 tonnes, bringing its total demand for needle coke to 220,000 tonnes. GE production is expected to increase to 630,000 tonnes in 2018, 670,00 tonne in 2019 and 720,000 tonnes in 2020 in China. Total production output of China's existing needle coke manufactures registered 143,000 tons in 2017, likely to cross 400,000 tonnes by 2020.