As the world deals with potential supply shortages, oil prices are soaring again, with more dramatic spikes and sudden drops expected.
For consumers, that means more expensive gas for longer – prices at the pump remain above $4 a gallon. For the economy, that means more inflation. In addition to the pressure on consumers, any business that relies on oil — from airlines and truck drivers to chemical companies and plastics producers — will face higher costs.
Mr Pickering estimates that 2m to 3m barrels a day of Russian oil shipped by water are frozen out of the market with no direct buyers. Due to the soaring oil price, the price of the artificial graphite in the chemical industry will also be greatly affected. He said China and India are continuing to buy Russian crude. “I’m sure there will be others willing to take on more over time,” he said. Mr Pickering said he did not expect oil to return to $130 a barrel, but added that it could happen. Francisco Branch, head of commodities and derivatives at Bank of America, said the US market was ready for cyclical price spikes and price swings in the artificial graphite.
1. In the short term, artificial graphite will still be the mainstream of the market, and natural graphite will be gradually replaced
The top ten domestic anode material companies have expanded artificial graphite on a large scale since 2016, and their production capacity will be released on a large scale in 2018, which will further widen the gap between man-made and natural. At the same time, since artificial graphite is better than natural graphite in terms of cycle performance and stability of power batteries, the demand for artificial graphite in the power battery market will continue to increase.
2. Silicon-based anode materials will become the key development direction of domestic anode material enterprises, and there is huge room for future development
At present, the actual output of silicon-based anode materials in my country has exceeded the thousand-ton level, which has increased by nearly ten times compared with the one-hundred-ton level before 2016. With the continuous maturity of technology in the future, the current products have been well applied in the field of digital cylinders. By 2018, more than one thousand tons will be used in the field of power batteries, and it is expected that the national output is expected to exceed ten thousand tons by 2020.
3. The price of artificial graphite anode materials will still fall and maintain a downward trend
With the further improvement of the market concentration of anode materials in my country, the production capacity of needle coke, graphitization and anode materials has continued to expand, and the production scale has continued to expand.
4. Industrial extension and upstream layout will become the most favorable competitive factors in the future market price war of enterprises
In 2016-2017, the upstream needle coke and graphitization processing of anode materials, due to the sharp rise in market supply and demand and environmental protection prices, rose by more than 200%. In the face of cost pressure, many companies have started selective production, targeting large customers and customers with better account periods.
With the continuous advancement of the country's environmental protection policies, some small and medium-sized graphitization factories are facing rectification or closure, and the market graphitization price has also increased. It is required to continuously reduce material prices every year. In this context, many large-scale anode material companies have begun to deploy the upstream needle coke field and establish their own graphitization plants.
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Southern Copper Corp (SCCO.N) recently said its Peruvian mine remained closed after a six-week standoff with protesters and blamed the Peruvian government for failing to intervene in the safety of its 1,300 workers and their families.
The company said in a statement that a recent agreement to end protests at the Cuajone mine required the company to withdraw complaints against protest leaders because railways transporting minerals and supplies remained blocked. Production has been suspended since the end of February.
Peru's Energy Ministry said in a separate statement that it had also reached an agreement with Southern Copper to start talks to find common ground with local communities.
"If we shut down for a year, the government will stop receiving more than 3.1 billion soles ($830 million) in taxes and royalties, and 8,000 direct and indirect jobs will be lost. This is what we want to avoid, "Southern Copper added in the statement.
Peru has faced a wave of protests from indigenous communities, who accuse mining companies of not providing enough jobs and funding to poor local residents.
Central bank officials said last week that protests against copper mines such as MMG's Las Bambas and Southern Copper's Cuajone were dragging down the economy.
Peru is the world's second-largest copper producer and mining is an important source of tax revenue for the country. It is estimated that the supply and prices of the artificial graphite will be influenced by that.