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The Petroleum Coke Market is Positive before The Spring Festival

Pulished on Jan. 14, 2023

At the end of 2022, the price of refined petroleum coke in the domestic market basically fell to a low level. The price difference between some mainstream insured refineries and local refineries is relatively large.

According to the statistics and analysis of Longzhong Information, after the New Year's Day, domestic mainstream petroleum coke prices all fell sharply, and the market transaction prices fell by 8-18% month-on-month.

Low sulfur coke:

Low-sulfur coke in the Northeast refinery under PetroChina mainly implemented insured sales in December. After the settlement price was announced at the end of December, it fell by 500-1100 yuan/ton, with a cumulative drop of 8.86%. In the North China market, low-sulfur coke was actively shipped out of warehouses, and the transaction price fell in response to the market. Petroleum coke shipments from refineries under CNOOC Limited were mediocre, and downstream companies had a strong wait-and-see mentality, and coke prices from refineries fell accordingly.

Medium sulfur coke:

As the price of petroleum coke in the eastern market continued to decline, the shipment of high-sulfur coke in the northwest of PetroChina was under pressure. The freight is 500 yuan/ton, and the arbitrage space in the eastern and western markets has narrowed. Sinopec's petroleum coke shipments have slowed down slightly, and downstream companies are generally less enthusiastic about stocking up. Coke prices in refineries will continue to fall, and the transaction price has dropped by 400-800 yuan.


At the beginning of 2023, domestic petroleum coke supply will continue to increase. PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical Co. The annual production rate still increased by 1.12% compared with that before New Year's Day. According to the market research and statistics of Longzhong Information, in January, there is basically no delay in the planned shutdown of coking units in China. The monthly output of petroleum coke may reach about 2.6 million tons, and about 1.4 million tons of imported petroleum coke resources have arrived in China. In January, the supply of petroleum coke still at a high level.


The price of low-sulfur petroleum coke fell sharply, and the price of calcined petroleum coke fell less than that of raw materials. The theoretical profit of low-sulfur calcined petroleum coke increased slightly by 50 yuan/ton compared with that before the festival. However, the current graphite electrode market continues to be weak in trading, the start-up load of steel mills has been continuously reduced, and the demand for graphite electrodes is sluggish. The average capacity utilization rate of terminal electric arc furnace steelmaking is 44.76%, which is 3.9 percentage points lower than that before the festival. Steel mills are still in the loss stage. There are still manufacturers planning to stop production for maintenance, and the support of the terminal market is not good. Graphite cathodes are purchased on demand, and the market is generally supported by rigid demand. It is expected that the price of low-sulfur calcined coke may still fall back before the Spring Festival.


Trading in the medium-sulfur calcined petroleum coke market is mediocre, and companies mainly execute orders and contracts for production and sales. Due to the continuous decline in the price of raw petroleum coke, the signing price of calcined petroleum coke has been adjusted back by 500-1000 yuan/ton, and the theoretical profit of enterprises has been reduced to about 600 yuan/ton, which is 51% lower than that before the festival. The new round of purchase pricing of prebaked anodes has fallen, the price of terminal spot electrolytic aluminum has continued to fall, and the trading in the aluminum carbon market has been slightly weak, which has insufficient support for the favorable shipments of the petroleum coke market.

Outlook forecast:

Although some downstream enterprises have the mentality of purchasing and stocking up near the Spring Festival, due to the abundant supply of domestic petroleum coke resources and the continuous replenishment of imported resources in Hong Kong, there is no obvious positive pull for domestic petroleum coke market shipments. The production profit margin of downstream carbon enterprises has narrowed, and some enterprises are expected to reduce production. The terminal market is still dominated by weak operations, and it is difficult to find support for petroleum coke prices. It is expected that in the short term, petcoke prices in domestic refineries will mostly be adjusted and transitioned in a stable manner. Mainstream refineries have limited room for adjustment of coke prices based on the execution of orders and contracts.