China produced 674,200 tonnes of unshaped refractory
materials in August 2018, up 10.16% year-on-year.
Of the total, 589,100 tonnes were alumina-silicon refractory
materials, up by 8.65% from August 2017, and 85,000 tonnes were
magnesia-based unshaped refractory materials, an increase of
21.89% annually, according to data from the China Association
The increase in unshaped refractory material output in
August 2018 can be attributed to stronger demand from the steel
and construction sectors, especially for alumina-silicon and
magnesia-based unshaped refractory products.
China’s total unshaped refractory products
output in the first eight months of 2018 came to 4.46 million
tonnes, up by 4.39% year-on-year. Alumina-silicon refractory
material made up 3.73 million tonnes of the total, an increase
of 13.58% from the same months last year, while 726,600 tonnes
were magnesia-based unshaped refractory material. This marked a
drop of 26.27% year-on-year.
Downstream crude steel production rose to 326,000 tonnes in
August, up by 2.7% from the same month of 2017. Total output
was 617 million tonnes in the first eight months of the year,
up by 5.8% from the same months of 2017.
In construction materials, cement output totaled 200 million
tonnes in August, up by 5% year-on-year, while total output in
the first eight months was 1.38 million tonnes, up by 0.5%.
Total non-ferrous output was 4.53 million tonnes in August,
up by 5.7% from the same month last year.
Output in the first eight months of 2018 was 35.71 million
tonnes, up by 3.8% year-on-year. Copper output was 5.84 million
tonnes, up by 11.4%. Electrolytic aluminum output was 22.21
million tonnes, up by 3.5%. Lead production rose by 6.2% to
3.09 million tonnes; zinc output was 3.69 million tonnes,
falling by 1.4%; and alumina output was 44.75 million tonnes,
up by 2.8%. All of these comparisons are year-on-year for the
first eight months.
Raw materials pricing
Most refractory raw material prices, such as magnesia and
graphite, have held steady recently. Magnesia prices became
firmer on recent stricter environmental regulation.
Fastmarkets assessed the price of dead-burned magnesia,
97.5% MgO, lump, at $1,100-1,300 per tonne fob China on
September 25, unchanged since August 21.
The price assessment for flake graphite, 94-97% C, +80 mesh,
on an fob China basis, was stable at $900-1,200 per tonne on