GLOBAL GRAPHITE SNAPSHOT: Demand set to contract, earlier supply cuts still being felt

By Jon Stibbs, Sybil Pan
Published: Thursday, 26 March 2020

Key data from the graphite pricing sessions in Asia and Europe for the week ended Thursday March 26.

Assessment 
(in $ per tonne)
This week's price

Previous week's price Weekly % change

Graphite flake, 94% C, +100 mesh, cif Europe


660

660

0

Graphite flake, 94% C, -100 mesh, cif Europe


470

470

0

Graphite flake, 94% C, +80 mesh, cif Europe


840

830

+1.2

Graphite Flake, 94% C, +100 mesh, fob China 


710

700

+1.4

Graphite Flake, 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China


540

540

0

Graphite Flake, 94% C, +80% mesh, fob China


830

830

0

Graphite Spherical, 99.95% C, 15 microns


2,500-2,600

2,500-2,600

0

Graphite Amorphous, 80% C, -200 mesh


320-340

320-340

0

Graphite Amorphous, 80-85% C, -200 mesh, FCL


330-395

330-395

0


China

  • The price of graphite flake, 94% C, +100 mesh (+194) ticked up following the domestic market trend, amid a shortage of supply.
  • Liquidity was low with major importers such as South Korea and Japan delaying their purchases while the Covid-19 pandemic weakened demand around the world.
  • The amorphous graphite market was stable with limited spot trading. Mining activities have reverted to normal in the major production hub of Hunan province, with producers shipping out orders of material made before the Chinese new year break.
  • Prices for spherical graphite remained firm, supported by demand in the domestic market amid reduced shipments to countries outside China.

Europe

  • The price of graphite flake, 94% C, +80 mesh, cif Europe, ticked upward while the tightness in import supplies, due to the coronavirus situation in China, continued to be felt in the European market.
  • The pandemic was expected to have a severely negative effect on consumption but this did not translate into lower prices over the pricing period. A very rapid drop in demand was expected by market participants while Europe’s steel and automotive sectors scaled back their activity.
  • Graphite producer Syrah Resources has lowered its 2020 flake production target of 120,000-150,000 tonnes in response to the coronavirus pandemic but has continued to operate.

Graphite flake premium calculator

The VIU was updated on January 2 for the first quarter 2020 to 5.9% from 6.7% in the fourth quarter 2019.

Adjustment  This quarter's VIU Previous quarter's VIU Quarterly change

Carbon VIU in %

5.9 6.7 -0.8

 VIU q1 2020

The Carbon-VIU measures, in percentage terms, the price value of one extra % of carbon content as seen in the market.

The VIU is calculated using statistical methods and the large amount of prices and data collected by Fastmarkets. The VIU shown is the value implied by the market and not an in-house assessment.

An example of what the Carbon-VIU means practically: A published Carbon-VIU of 7% means that material with 95% carbon content is priced by the market, on average, 7% more expensive than 94% carbon content material, assuming other factors are equal.

Likewise, it means that 96% carbon content material would be 7% more expensive than 95% material and that 97% carbon content material would be 7% more expensive than 96%, or 21% more expensive than 94% carbon.

For more information or to provide feedback on this graphite snapshot or if you would like to contribute to the price discovery process, please contact Jon Stibbs or Sybil Pan by email at:  pricing@indmin.com. Please add the subject heading "FAO: Jon Stibbs/Sybil Pan – graphite."



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