Industrial Insight

Graphite Electrodes from ISRI Weekly Market Report, Oct 2, 2017 | October 2, 2017

· Global graphite electrode prices are surging higher. Reuters reports that: "China’s aggressive environmental protection campaign has tightened supplies of graphite electrodes used in steelmaking, boosting the fortunes of big producers like Fangda Carbon as mills search far and wide for a material now in short supply… Graphite electrodes are used to melt scrap in electric arc furnaces to produce new steel. Their main ingredient is high-value needle coke – named because of its shape – which is made from either petroleum or coal tar."
· According to Macquarie, "The worldwide shortage of graphite electrodes has done its first victim: … Omani bar producer Sohar Steel is running at about 20% below its capacity due to the shortage of the electrode. The cost of graphite electrodes used in EAFs has soared by 1,600% in six months from $2,000/t to $32,000/t due to a reduction in supplies from China, after a government crackdown on pollution led to the closure of some electrode plants. Eurofer (European Steel Association) announced recently that the current shortage threatens steel production in Europe, while soaring costs for the consumable have led ArcelorMittal to increase prices for steel long products on the continent.

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I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.

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