Prices for most refractory raw materials, such as magnesia and graphite, were firm in the first half of this year, helped by the knock-on effects of China’s strict imposition of environmental regulations.
Magnesia prices in China were on an upward trend, especially for high-grade grade products, in the first half of 2018. But they began to soften recently because of increasing stock levels and slow buying during the seasonal summer lull.
Industrial Minerals’ latest price assessment on August 7 for dead-burned magnesia, 97.5% MgO, lump, was $1,100-1,350 per tonne fob China, down from $1,100-1,400 per tonne in July.
Natural flake graphite prices have held steady since early 2018. The weekly assessment of the fob China price for flake graphite, 94-97% C, +80 mesh, was unchanged at $1,050-1,210 per tonne on August 2.