May 13

Environmental regulations are keeping Chinese prices for refractory materials high, but demand is also on the rise.

Increasing demand for refractory materials pushed China’s refractories output up to 9.45 million tonnes in the first half of 2018. Magnesia and graphite prices remained firm because of the knock-on effects of environmental regulations.

China’s total output of refractory materials was 9.45 million tonnes in the first half of the year, up by 4.80% year-on-year, according to data from the China Association of Refractories.

Refractories output in January-June rose continuously because of increasing demand from downstream consumers, with more projects involving the replacement of steel production capacity, and maintenance projects at several kilns.
Supply of some refractory products was tight due to increasing demand, especially for silica bricks.

The total volume of unshaped refractory materials produced in January-June was 3.26 million tonnes, up by 5.57% year-on-year. This included 2.71 million tonnes of refractory alumina-silicon, up by 20.28%, and 550,000 tonnes of magnesia-based unshaped refractory, down by 34.09%.

The downstream crude steel sector showed a year-on-year increase in output in the first half of 2018, with total output of 451.16 million tonnes in the first six months, up by 6% compared with the first half of 2017.

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 have begun to soften recently because of increasing stock levels and slow buying during the seasonal summer lull.

May 06

Refractories in the British Isles

This report is a review of the development of the refractories industry in the British Isle which for the purposes of this paper includes both the north and south of Ireland geologically if not politically and covers mainly the last 300 years with a summary of the current situation and future possible developments.

Abr 29

Mineralogy and Thermodynamics in Refractories

This paper summarises the main content of a presentation given at the 53 Annual Symposium on Refractories sponsored by The St. Louis Section and Refractory Ceramics Division of the American Ceramic Society when receiving the T.J. Planje St. Louis Refractories Award in 2017.

Mineralogical approaches including the work with phase diagrams can be very useful tools for the assessment of hot temperature properties and reactions occurring during wear of refractories. It does not require sophisticated computer programs to work with the diagram but only a ruler and a calculator. The paper describes the benefit of phase diagram work in the assessment of high alumina refractories by selected examples from high alumina castables for steel applications. The invedstigation of wear mechanism from Andalusite based catable as tundish permanent lining is another example provided.


Abr 22

Magnesia Market Summit: MagForum 2018 Review

INFORMED’s MagForum 2018 conference was held 17-20 June, at the Grande Elysée Hotel, Hamburg/DE. With 230 international attendees networking and discussing the key issues influencing the industry, it was the largest yet. The event was stimulated with a diverse programme presented by leading experts.

Home to speciality magnesa supplier Lehmann & Voss & Co./DE, and as lead sponsor of MagForum 2018, it was fitting thar Knut Breede, Managing Partnet, formally oponed proceedings with a Welcome Address providing not just an insight to Lehmann & Voss but also the longstanding pedigree of Hamburg as a mineral trading hub.

Abr 15

China’s magnesia prices firm on strict environmental inspections

Magnesia production hubs in China are continuing their efforts to reduce negative environmental impact, while domestic magnesia prices firm and export prices hold steady on low demand.

Following China’s closure of companies in the Dashiqiao magnesia production hub that failed to meet environmental standards and the Haicheng government’s progress in consolidating the magnesia industry in early September, the Dashiqiao and Haicheng governments have been stepping up efforts to improve local air conditions to make them comply with Beijing’s environmental targets.

Officials from the Dashiqiao and Yingkou governments held a conference with local refractory companies on September 14 to establish improved emission standards for air pollutants in the magnesia-based refractory industry. Local companies should strictly follow the production standards.

Meanwhile, the Haicheng government has started a new round of environmental inspections in the local area, which will last one month from September 18 to October 19.

During this round of inspections, some magnesia companies in Haicheng and Dashiqiao have chosen to stop production and upgrade equipment to meet the new standards for inspection, leading to reduced supply in the spot market. With mining restrictions still in place, domestic Chinese magnesia prices have firmed again, and some producers have even started to increase prices for magnesia, especially fused magnesia (FM) and dead-burned magnesia (DBM), though this has not affected market prices yet.

“China’s magnesia prices will not fall further, or even increase in a small range, due to the recent conference and new round of environmental inspections. Dead burned magnesia prices will be influenced more as more producers might stop production due to the inspections in Haicheng. Meanwhile export prices are temporarily standing still as demand from buyers remains quiet,” an exporter in Dalian told Industrial Minerals.

Industrial Minerals’ latest price assessments showed the fob China price of magnesia, fused, 97% MgO (Ca:Si 2:1) was at $1,250-1,350 per tonne on September 18, flat with previous week. Industrial Minerals’ assessment for the fob China price of DBM, 90% MgO lumpwas at $220-260 per tonne on September 18, also unchanged from the previous week.

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