Graphite electrode with needle coke
Needle coke is a high quality variety of carbon materials, which is an excellent material for manufacturing high-power and ultra-high power electrodes and lithium anode materials. To a certain extent, the quality level of graphite electrode is determined by the quality level of the raw material needle coke and the content of needle coke. Graphite electrode made of needle coke has the advantages of strong heat shock resistance, high mechanical strength, good oxidation performance, low electrode consumption and high allowable current density, which greatly improves the quality level of graphite electrode and is an indispensable material for high quality graphite electrode.
In 2016, the total demand for needle coke reached 186,800 tons, with a sequential growth of 80.86% in the graphite electrode and 64.03% in the lithium cathode. In 2017, the production capacity of graphite electrode was largely released, and the total demand for needle coke was 328,700 tons, with a sequential growth of 128.29% in graphite electrode and 27.47% in lithium cathode. The continuous rapid expansion of graphite electrode slowed down in 2018, and the total demand for needle coke reached 572,300 tons, with a sequential growth of 73.75% in graphite electrode and 71.64% in lithium cathode.
Graphite electrode changes directly determines the needle coke market, with the rapid expansion graphite electrode market is not scientific, the contradiction is becoming more and more fresh dew, 2019 annual production capacity of excess, the stock market a large number of accumulation, combined with the downstream steel sorry tale, once weak demand, graphite electrode fall market prices fall again and again, in the face of the domestic market present situation, the electrode companies look to the foreign market, but the gap to tighten up the domestic supply and foreign markets under the double negative, regrets single abroad, domestic port cargo accumulation, market sharp contradictions. In June 2019, the output of graphite electrode continued to grow negatively for five months, decreasing month by month. By November, the output of graphite electrode decreased by 11.29% compared with that of June.
The overall trend of the needle coke market in China in 2019 is down, mainly due to the lower demand for downstream graphite electrodes.
The main influencing factors are as follows:
- The downstream graphite electrode market is sluggish, the product supply exceeds the demand, the price drops, and the purchasing enthusiasm for needle coke decreases.
- The price of graphite electrode decreased greatly, and the profit reached the bottom. The ratio of high power and ultra-high power graphite electrode materials changed, reducing the use of needle coke.
- New needle coke enterprises and devices have been feeding and successfully coke, needle coke supply increases, enterprise inventory increases.
Graphite electrode market continues to operate in a weak position, the downstream demand is weak, the market is light. Due to the common power, high power small specification graphite electrode profit is tight, high power large specification graphite electrode profit is ok, the major enterprises have invested in the ultra high power specification electrode market. The improvement of supply capacity, along with the reduction of the gap in foreign markets, leads to the accumulation of domestic goods and the continuous decline in prices. As the graphite electrode market enters the downward channel, competition intensifies constantly in the process of reshuffling, and the price remains weak. In the process of competition, many enterprises will be eliminated. When the market returns to rationality, the carbon industry will regain its luster. In the process of competition, the price of needle coke enterprises will continue to be weak, the future pessimistic situation is severe, the balance of the development of the enterprise focus, technological breakthrough will be the only key to tide over the difficulties.