Mar 18

El pasado 26 de Febrero tuvo lugar en la sede de ANFRE en Madrid las reuniones de la Junta Directiva, la Asamblea General Ordinaria y los distintos comités que forman la asociación, Comité de Montadores y Comité Técnico.

El pasado 26 de Febrero tuvo lugar en la sede de ANFRE en Madrid las reuniones de la Junta Directiva, la Asamblea General Ordinaria y los distintos comités que forman la asociación, Comité de Montadores y Comité Técnico.

Al tratarse de las primeras reuniones del año se ha prestado especial atención a la preparación de los presupuestos para el 2019, a las cuotas a abonar  por parte de los asociados al igual que a los próximos eventos que se llevaran a cabo, el más próximo es la realización de la II Edición del Curso de Ingeniería de Refractarios, que tendrá lugar del 11 al 14 de Marzo en Sevilla.

 

Hemos contado con la participación de Carlos Martí, Secretario General de Confevicex, el cual nos ha ofrecido una charla sobre el XXI Convenio Colectivo del Vidrio y la Cerámica. Charla que nos ha parecido muy interesante ya que nos ha informado sobre las novedades y modificaciones del mismo.

 

Una vez finalizadas las distintas reuniones del día hemos podido relajarnos en la comida ofrecida por ANFRE, comida en la que se intenta no solo hablar del mundo del refractarios sino poder llegar a conocernos un poco mejor.

 

Una vez más agradecer a todos los asistentes a las reuniones su colaboración, sin todos vosotros ANFRE no sería posible.

 

Nos vemos en Junio.

Mar 12

Fused alumina prices rise on Q4 supply concerns

Brown fused and white fused alumina prices have increased, offsetting yuan-related depreciation, while the price of refractory grade bauxite 88% ticked up on continued production issues in Shanxi.

Fused alumina and bauxite markets appreciated at the start of September due to continued supply problems within China, which have prompted concerns for supply in the fourth quarter.

Some fused alumina and calcined bauxite prices had softened in August owing mainly to the devaluation of the yuan against the dollar and the euro. But early September assessments are showing upward movement once again.

Both brown fused and white fused alumina as well as some calcined bauxite grades have risen in the latest assessments.

Industrial Minerals assessed the price of refractory grade brown fused alumina(BFA) at $750-780 per tonne fob China on September 6, up from $730-750 per tonne on August 23.

The price of abrasive grade BFA rose on the low end of the range to $870-890 per tonne fob China on September 6 from $850-890 per tonne earlier.

Availability issues have been supporting BFA prices through August, while the weaker yuan was having a bearish effects on some calcined bauxite prices.

Industrial Minerals assessed the price of white fused alumina (WFA) at €790-830 ($920-967) per tonne cif Europe on September 6, up from €740-830 per tonne on August 23.

The increase on the low end of the range reflects higher prices out of China, while western European suppliers have maintained levels on the high end of the range.

“Chinese prices surged because of a shift in demand towards China as the talk of US sanctions towards [Russian alumina supplier] Rusal came up again,” one distributor in Europe said.

“Buyers want to make sure they can get the material no matter what, as the fourth quarter looks to be very busy for refractories orders,” one trader added.

Bauxite

Concerns of low availability have also prompted an uptick in high-purity calcined bauxite 88% prices so far in September, while lower-purity grades have remained stable.

Industrial Minerals assessed the refractory grade bauxite 88% price at $490-500 per tonne fob Xingang, compared with $470-490 per tonne the fortnight before.

The increase is thought to be related to recent issues with production in China’s leading bauxite province, Shanxi.

The majority of calcination operations in the province have been stopped since the second half of August, although details on specific timelines have been inconsistent. Some participants reported a stoppage to kilns in Shanxi has been in place since August 20, although others claim many plants had not been operating for a couple of weeks before that.

Additionally, fused alumina producers in Henan province said that they could not source new calcined bauxite feedstock for their processing, due to the issues in Shanxi and competition with international sales. Instead, it is understood fused alumina producers had been resorting to stockpiles.

Meanwhile, the price of calcined bauxite 87% has remained stable at $450-470 per tonne fob Xingang on August 23.
Similarly, the price of calcined bauxite 86% has held at $420-440 per tonne fob Xingang [LINK] and the price of calcined bauxite 85% remained firm at $410-420 per tonne fob Xingang.

Mar 04

China’s domestic magnesia prices up on reduced supply but export prices unchanged

Sector consolidation and environmental restrictions are propelling Chinese magnesia prices higher but lackluster foreign markets are keeping export prices steady for now.

Reduced supply of magnesia from the Dashiqiao area of China and continued consolidation in the sector in Haicheng propelled domestic prices higher but export prices held steady for now because of subdued overseas demand . Chinese producers have raised their domestic offer prices by 100-200 yuan per tonne for fused magnesia (FM) and caustic calcined magnesia (CCM) after the price increase in dead burned magnesia (DBM) last week, which was caused by the closure of kilns in Dashiqiao.

“Domestic fused magnesia and caustic calcined prices also moved up by 100-200 yuan per tonne, influenced by the recent increase in dead burned magnesia, but we haven’t adjusted export prices this week because current demand remains inactive and buyers are in no hurry to place new orders while awaiting clearer direction,” a trader in Dalian told Fastmarkets IM.

Fastmarkets IM assessed the fob China price of FM 97% MgO (Ca:Si 1:1) at $1,000-1,100 per tonne fob China and the price of 97% MgO (Ca:Si 2:1) at $1,250-1,350 per tonne on Tuesday October 23 , both unchanged from the previous week.

The CCM 90-92% MgO fob China price of $180-220 per tonne was also unchanged from the previous week, according to Fastmarkets IM’s October 23 assessment

Fastmarkets IM assessed the fob China price of DBM 90% MgO lump at $240-270 per tonne, also steady from the previous week.

As part of continued efforts by authorities in Haicheng and Dashiqiao – China’s two major magnesia production hubs – to improve air quality, Dashiqiao has closed all DBM kilns to meet new emission standards.

Meanwhile, state-owned Liaoning Magnesite Mining Co (LMMC) has started trial operations this week. The government of Haicheng will strictly control the availability of explosives used in mining and the quantity of magnesite LMMC will be allowed to produce.

Feb 18

India’s infrastructure investment means heady times for refractories sector

The Indian refractory industry is heading into an exciting period. It is heavily dependent on the domestic steel sector, and government plans for greatly expanded capacity for production of steel and cement in the next few years is expected to propel the refractory sector to new highs, Industrial Minerals correspondent Sunder Singh reports.

India’s refractory industry had a modest year in the financial period from April 2017 to March 2018, in terms of a moderate increase in local output of steel and cement.

While exact production figures were not available at the time of publication, refractory production registered a growth of about 3.5% on a volume basis, according to the Indian Refractory Manufacturers Association (Irma).

Growth of the sector was supported by Indian crude steel output, which rose by 4.5% to 102.34 million tonnes in the 2017-18 financial year, compared with an increase of 8.5% in 2016-17.

India’s crude steel output exceeded 100 million tonnes for the first time in 2017-18. Total production capacity increased by 5% to 134.6 million tonnes. The jump seen in 2016-17 was a result of the imposition of higher anti-dumping duties on flat steel products, which curbed imports and helped mills boost domestic sales.

Meanwhile, high volumes of refractory products imported from China created headwinds for growth among domestic refractory producers.

“Imports of refractory products from China is a key issue facing Indian refractory producers. Dumping
of cheaper products from China affects the profitability of [other market participants] and domestic
refractory growth,” Vivek Singh, general manager for marketing at Calderys India Refractories, told
Industrial Minerals. “Almost 25% of the Indian refractory market, including magnesium bricks, is
catered [for] by China.”

Healthy demand projection

There are indications that India’s steel consumption in the next few years will show robust growth
thanks to the government’s emphasis on infrastructure development, both real estate and
automotive. The national 2017-18 budget included an outlay of 4,000 billion rupees ($56 billion) for
infrastructure expansion, covering railways, roadways, airports, seaports, multi-modal transport and
urban amenities, as well as affordable housing.

This has provided a boost for the domestic steel sector. The government’s New Steel Policy 2017
envisages an increase in per capita consumption to 160kg by 2030 from the present 60kg, backed by
a target of 300 million tonnes per year of added steelmaking capacity.

Raw material worries

Raw material availability and pricing has been a major issue for Indian refractory producers since
August 2017, when strict environmental regulations in China started to affect the supply from
Chinese producers and suppliers.

India’s refractory industry has traditionally depended heavily on Chinese imports of dead burned and
fused magnesia (DBM, FM), refractory bauxite and tabular alumina. As a result, Irma has urged the
Indian government to intervene to ease the raw material situation. The government has yet to
respond to the association’s call for action.

“China has gone through a lot of changes in terms of its environmental norms. This has caused a
substantial increase in raw material prices for refractory producers. Major raw materials, such as
fused magnesia, sea water magnesia, brown fused alumina [and] tabular alumina, still must be
imported as refractory quality grades are not available in [India],” Irma secretary general Anirban
Dasgupta told Industrial Minerals.

“The Indian refractory industry has seen average refractory raw material prices increase by 23% in
April 2018, compared with the same period in 2017. There is an urgent need to enhance domestic
raw material production and the use of alternative sources of raw materials,” Dasgupta added.
Calderys’ Singh agreed. “There is scarcity in raw materials in India as well,” he said. “The dunite mines
of Salem are closed due to environmental and other administrative reasons [and the supply of] good
quality refractory-grade bauxite is fast dwindling. The only silver lining for Indian producers is that
the current situation is forcing us to work on strategies that can reduce our dependence on China.”

New investment

A joint venture between Indian refractory maker Dalmia and Slovenian counterpart Seven
Refractories has started construction of a refractory plant in India. The Dalmia-Seven factory is in
Katni in the state of Madhya Pradesh, and will be equipped with a new production line with initial
capacity for 40,000 tonnes per year of finished refractory products. The line will produce refractory
materials for casting and other applications.

With fully integrated IT process supervision and a barcode system, the line will represent one of the
most advanced production lines in the industry. Both final products and incoming raw materials will
undergo supervision in the plant’s own laboratory.

“Refractories are the heart of manufacturing, and the Indian government’s thrust on core industries
will create a requirement for advanced refractory solutions that can help to improve productivity and
optimize costs,” Sameer Nagpal, chief executive of refractories for Dalmia Bharat Group, said. “With
the Katni plant, the Dalmia-Seven joint venture has an ideally located strategic asset at the center of
its operations.”

 

Feb 11

XVI International Conference of Refractories Manufacturers and Metallurgists in Russia

On 19-20 April 2018, an international conference of refractories and metallurgists was held at the National Research Technological University MISIS – Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys/RU. As usual, preliminary informatin has been published in the form of summaries in the magazine New Refractories about a number of achievements of developers and manufacturers of refractories as well as about results of their application in linings of metallurgical vessels.

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