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Weekly market review April 28 2009

Written by Paul Adkins



Imported alumina prices rose US$5-10/tonne to US$260-270/tonne. Meanwhile, domestic non-Chalco alumina prices remained unchanged at RMB2350-2370/tonne, and the Chalco price stayed stable at RMB2300/tonne.





Last week, Chalco`s aluminium price remained unchanged at RMB13800/tone. According to National Bureau of Statistics data, China produced 902,300 tonnes of primary aluminium in March 2009, more than in February 2009, but less than in March of last year.



Green Petroleum Coke


The green coke market remained weak last week. After several weeks of uncertainty, some refineries cut their prices again, so that although a few plants increased list prices, the actual trade price did not change much.


For low sulphur coke, Jinxi petrochemicals lowered its price by RMB100/tonne to RMB1400/tonne. Due to pressure from poor sales, Jilin petrochemicals cut its price by another RMB100/tonne to RMB1100/tonne. Prices at other refineries remained unchanged


As for moderate sulphur coke in Northern China and Shandong province, Tianjin petrochemicals cut its price by another RMB50/tonne to RMB1050/tonne. Meanwhile, the Jinan refinery reduced its price by RMB50/tonne to RMB1250/tonne, and the Cangzhou refinery cut its price by RMB 70/tonne to RMB1180/tonne. Along the Yangzi River, the Jinmen refinery cut its price by RMB50/tonne to RMB1250/tonne, and the Anqing refinery decreased its price from RMB1430/tonne to RMB1300/tonne. The Changling refinery is planning to shut down for maintenance for around two months starting from 28 April. In Western china, the Kelamayi refinery will shut down for maintenance at the end of April. The list price of 3# coke has therefore been higher and remained around RMB 1450-1550/tonne lately.


The high sulphur coke market remained relatively stable. The Gaoqiao refinery increased its price lately and stabilized it at around RMB860-900/tonne, while the Qingdao refinery raised its price from RMB 780/tonne to RMB 820/tonne. The Qingdao refinery has scheduled output to reach 900,000 tonnes in 2009, and plans to use half of the production for its CFB boilers. It will build a new coker with processing capacity of 1.6 million tones, expected to come online by the end of 2009.



Calcined Coke 


Low sulphur Calcined coke prices dropped RMB100/tonne to RMB2000-2100/tonne. Domestic demand for low sulphur calcined coke is very weak, especially in Northeastern China. There were few deals made in China, and most low sulphur calcined coke was exported.


Moderate sulphur and high sulphur calcined coke prices did not move last week. For Moderate sulphur, the price in Shandong province stayed at around RMB1400-1500/tonne, and while the price was slightly higher in Tianjin Yunhai at RMB1700/tonne, though the deal volume there was limited. High sulphur calcined coke sales were also relatively weak, and mostly geared towards exports. Prices stand at around RMB1350-1400/tonne.





China’s anode market saw some improvement last week thanks to the resumption of aluminium production. Last week saw greater deal flow and prices rose slightly.


Mainstream prices stayed at around RMB2600-2800/tonne in Shandong province, RMB2500-2800/tonne in Henan province, RMB2700-2900/tonne in Shanxi province, and RMB3000/tonne in Inner Mongolia. Meanwhile, some price improvement was noted in Guangxi and Chongqing provinces, where prices reached RMB3000-3100/tonne and RMB2850-3000/tonne respectively.



Coal Tar


Coal tar prices continued to rise last week. While prices did not move in Shanxi province, where they mostly stayed around RMB2500-2600/tonne, prices rose to RMB2700-2800/tonne in Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces, and RMB200-250/tonne to RMB2100/tonne in Inner Mongolia. Meanwhile, prices in South China also increased slightly.


Market supply still remains very tight.   We expect to see prices climb further.



Coal Tar Pitch


Last week saw domestic coal tar pitch prices begin to stabilize, with only a few isolated increases. In Shanxi province, modified pitch prices remained unchanged at RMB2700-2800/tonne, while the moderate temperature pitch price rose RMB100/tonne to RMB2600/tonne. In Hebei province, modified pitch prices stayed put at RMB2800/tonne, while the moderate temperature pitch price rose RMB100/tonne to RMB2500/tonne. In Shandong province, modified pitch prices remained stable at RMB2700-2800/tonne, while the price for moderate temperature pitch rose RMB100/tonne to RMB2250-2400/tonne.


Coal tar pitch prices are expected to rise further, but only marginally.





Nothing new to report this week


Aluminium Fluoride


Nothing new to report this week.