Needle coke is the one fo the raw material for high power & ultra high power graphite electrodes and anode material. The graphite electrodes which made from needle coke would have the advantages of strong thermal shock resistance, high mechanical strength, low electrode consumption and high acceptable current density.
In China, the main applications of needle coke are graphite electrode and anode materials. In 2022, the needle coke consumption in China reached 1.21 MT, 47.95% of which came from the anode material end and 50.80% from the graphite electrode.
In terms of anode material, as Chinese gov promotes "carbon neutrality" policy, DT expects EV sales would grow at a cagr of 21% (2020-2035). The rapid growth ev sales has been stimulating EV battery's demand increasing anode material's demand. In terms of anode material, as Chinese gov promotes "carbon neutrality" policy, DT expects EV sales would grow at a cagr of 21% (2020-2035). The rapid growth ev sales has been stimulating EV battery's demand increasing anode material's demand. In addition, artificial graphite base anode material has high electron conductivity, large lithium diffusion coefficient, high safety and stability;Thus, as a raw material of artificial graphite, in recent years, needle coke consumption also benefits from the high growth demand in anode materials.
In terms of graphite electrodes,Chinese gov encourages steel making through electric arc furnace (EAF) for energy conservation and scrap recycling; Thus,the demand for high power and ultra high power graphite electrodes is motivated, and the demand for needle coke as a raw material is also expected to grow rapidly. DT consider that the CAGR of the UHP graphite electrodes over the 25-30 and 30-35 years would be 9.7% and 7.8%, respectively, which may boost the demand in needle coke.
In the import and export market, with the domestic needle coke production capacity increasing and the improvement of product quality, the imported needle coke amount in China is gradually decreasing. The source of imported needle coke is mainly from Britain, the United States, Japan and South Korea. DT consider that the amount of imported needle coke would gradually decrease in the next few years and eventually maintain at arround115,000 tons.
In terms of the production cost of needle coke, the raw materials cost account for 87% of the total cost. The cost table is as follows.