China’s total output of refractory materials
was 9.45 million tonnes in the first half of 2018, up by 4.80%
year-on-year, according to data from the China Association of
China Association of
Refractories output in the first half of 2018 rose
continuously because of increasing demand from downstream
consumers, with more projects involving the replacement of
steel production capacity, and maintenance projects at
Supply of some refractory products was tight due to
increasing demand, especially for silica bricks.
The total volume of unshaped refractory materials produced
in January-June was 3.26 million tonnes, up by 5.57%
year-on-year. This included 2.71 million tonnes of refractory
alumina-silicon, up by 20.28%, and 550,000 tonnes of
magnesia-based unshaped refractory, down by 34.09%.
The downstream crude steel sector showed a year-on-year
increase in output in the first half of 2018, with total
output of 451.16 million tonnes in the first six months, up
by 6% compared with the first half of 2017.
Raw materials pricing
Prices for most refractory raw materials, such as magnesia
and graphite, were firm in the first half of this year,
helped by the knock-on effects of China’s strict
imposition of environmental regulations.
Magnesia prices in China were on an upward trend,
especially for high-grade grade products, in the first half
of 2018. But they began to soften recently because of
increasing stock levels and slow buying during the seasonal
Industrial Minerals’ latest price assessment
on August 7 for dead-burned
magnesia, 97.5% MgO, lump, was $1,100-1,350 per tonne fob
China, down from $1,100-1,400 per tonne in July.
Natural flake graphite prices have held steady since early
2018. The weekly assessment of the fob China price for flake graphite, 94-97%
C, +80 mesh, was unchanged at $1,050-1,210 per tonne on