The Australian Mining Review

China becomes net graphite electrode importer


IN a striking shift, China has become a net importer of graphite electrodes after shuttering 30 per cent of its capacity, according to a note from investment bank Jefferies.

Graphite electrodes are the main heating element used in an electric arc furnace, a steelmakin­g process where scrap is melted to produce new steel, according to Reuters.

In recent years producers outside of China have slashed production of smaller electrodes – primarily used in ladle furnaces – as they could not compete with Chinese producers.

The tightness currently seen in the market – caused by lower Chinese exports, tight needle coke supply and strong demand – could persist for at least two years, Jefferies stated.

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