SHANGHAI, May 11 (SMM) - According to SMM survey, the current mainstream prices of mid-end artificial graphite are 65,000-68,000 yuan/mt, and the mainstream prices of low-end artificial graphite are 43,000-48,000 yuan/mt. Under the national goal of "carbon peaking and carbon neutrality", not only is the new energy vehicle market developing rapidly, but also energy storage, consumption, small power and other markets have shown growth trends to varying degrees, which has led to a substantial increase in the production and sales of power lithium batteries. Anode materials have benefited from thriving downstream industries, the demand has increased significantly, leaving anode materials in short supply.
From the perspective of raw materials, benefiting from the rapid expansion of downstream anode material production capacity, there is a surge in demand for coke. This coupled with the impact of soaring international crude oil price and supply shortages, boosted the price of low-sulphur petroleum coke since the beginning of the year. According to SMM survey, the current price of low-sulphur petroleum coke has risen to 8,500 yuan/mt. Prices of petroleum coke and needle coke may rise further amid growing demand.
From the perspective of graphitisation, the graphitisation production capacity tightened in 2021, mainly affected by the energy consumption dual control policies and power rationing. At the beginning of this year, affected by the Winter Olympics and the Two Sessions, the graphitisation production capacity in the northern regions was restricted. Starting from March this year, a new round of outbreak of pandemic has affected graphitisation factories in some areas and limited production capacity. According to SMM survey, the current mainstream conversion margins of graphitisation plants are 28,000-29,000 yuan/mt. It is expected that the graphitisation supply will still be in a tight state in the short term, and the conversion margins will still be hhovering at a high level.
The cost of anode materials has continued to rise since the beginning of this year, and the gross profit margin of anode materials has decreased. Some small anode material plants raised their prices by 3,000-5,000 yuan/mt. Beginning in the second quarter of this year, major anode material plants have also started a new round of price negotiations, and the cost increases in the first quarter have been reflected in the increase in anode material prices.