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Needle Coke Report Ⅱ: February 2023 market analysis and forecast

Needle Coke Report Ⅱ: February 2023 market analysis and forecast

Needle Coke Report :
February 2023 market analysis and forecast

Market analysis and forecast: Needle coke transaction light

1.  Market analysis: needle coke market demand was weak in February

1.1 Needle coke market:  needle coke price under the shipment pressure

Needle coke price trend.jpg

Data source: OilChem China

In February, needle coke average market price continued to decline, with a range of 200 yuan/ton. The oil-series calcined coke average market price was 11569 yuan/ton, down 2.4% month-on-month, the oil-series raw coke average price was 8238 yuan/ton, down 2.59% month-on-month, the coal-series calcined coke average price was 10833 yuan/ton, down 3.16% month-on-month, and the coal-series raw coke average price was 8020 yuan/ton, down 4.09% month-on-month.

The main factors affecting the price include: in terms of cost, coal tar pitch price trend rebounded, but the overall average price fell by 3.37% from the level in January, with the monthly average price of 6281 yuan/ton; Low-sulfur slurry price first fell and then rose, with the monthly average price of 5185 yuan/ton, up 3.29% from the average price in January; In terms of supply, the output of needle coke fell this month, most coal needle coke enterprises shut down, and some units produced asphalt coke; In the face of inventory pressure, petroleum series enterprises adjusted the production load and product structure of individual refineries to reduce the output of raw coke and increase the output of calcined coke. In terms of demand, the negative electrode materials were not produced in saturation this month, and the purchase of raw materials was relatively small; After the festival, the operation of the steel plants gradually recovered to the normal level, and graphite electrode enterprises prepared a small amount of raw materials.


In March, the negative electrode production is expected to increase, and the needle coke trading atmosphere will rise, while the price  will weaken slightly due to downstream pressure.


1.2  Market analysis of industrial chain: the price of needle coke industrial chain products mostly fell


In February, the upstream feedstock oil slurry and coal tar pitch of needle coke showed different trends, with the average price of oil slurry rising slightly and the average price of coal tar pitch falling slightly; The transaction price of needle coke products continued to move down; The price of graphite electrode and negative electrode materials in the downstream market fell, and the price of low-sulfur petroleum coke, a related product, rose instead of falling.


Products monthly fluctuation of needle coke industry chain

Products monthly fluctuation of needle coke industry chain .png

2.  Market forecast: the trading atmosphere of needle coke market rebounded in March

2.1 Basic forecast: the supply and demand of needle coke market will increase synchronously in March

2.1.1 Production forecast: needle coke output and capacity utilization rate will rise in March

In March, the enterprises that started in the early stage will stabilize production, and some enterprises that have completed the planned overhaul will resume production, and needle coke output will increase slightly to 90000 tons.

Maintenance schedule of needle coke next month

 Maintenance schedule of needle coke next month.png

2.1.2 Consumption forecast: slow growth of downstream demand in March

It is expected that the production load of downstream graphite electrode and negative electrode materials will increase slightly in March, and the rigid demand for raw materials will increase.


2.1.3 Import and export forecast: the import and export of needle coke fluctuated little in February

Imports of needle coke in February are expected to remain dominated by low-priced coal series from Japan, while imports of high-priced resources such as the United Kingdom are low.


2.2 Cost forecast: the raw material market will be both positive and negative in March

1. Coal tar pitchIn March, the high-temperature coal tar pitch price increases first and then decreases, and the overall cost side remained supported. Basically, the supply of coal tar pitch increases first and then decreases, and the market demand side is still just in demand. From the end of the month, the deep processing plants may issue an overhaul plan in advance under the long-term loss state, and the supply of coal tar pitch will decrease at that time. In a comprehensive view, the market has both positive and negative factors, and coal tar pitch market price falls first and then rises, but the increase is limited. It is expected that the market price will become stronger in March, and the average domestic spot price will hover to 6200-6500 yuan/ton.

2. Oil slurry: In March, the oil slurry market is still bearish, downstream wait-and-see attitude to dominate. Most of the orders are small to meet the rigid demand, it is expected that the market price may still have a downward trend.


2.3 Attitude survey: In March, the attitude of the needle coke market is not optimistic

The results of the survey on the mentality of Chinese needle coke market participants in March showed that 63% of enterprises were stable, 35% were bearish and 2% were bullish. Observers with stable mentality believe that under the influence of the superposition of positive and negative factors, needle coke market price will tend to be stable; The bearish observers believe that although the downstream demand will pick up, there is a large amount of inventory in the needle coke market, and manufacturers are eager to ship, which will inevitably lead to price competition. But bullish observers believe that the market gradually showed signs of recovery in March, while the needle coke profit is low, and some operators are willing to push up the price. Learn about the needle coke market follow-up reports, welcome to continue to follow us.

Needle coke market mentality investigation.jpg


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