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Analysis of China’s Bulk Refractory Raw Materials Market in January 2024


Date of Publication: January 31, 2024

In January, the bulk raw materials market experienced fluctuations, with the benchmark price of corundum rising, while magnesia sand, graphite, and silicon carbide saw decreases, and alumina remained stable.

【Corundum】After the New Year, the industrial alumina entered an upward trend with rapid increases in prices, which only stabilized towards the end of the month. The tight supply of non-metallurgical grade industrial alumina supported the upward adjustment of prices for white corundum and sintered corundum, with benchmark prices rising by 100-200 yuan/ton.

It’s worth noting that there’s a tight supply of sintered corundum for the core of porous bricks, prompting active sourcing by porous brick companies in Jiangsu, Henan, and other regions. However, some production companies are subject to environmental controls, leading to delays in orders until after the Spring Festival.

Brown corundum also saw an increase of 70-150 yuan/ton driven by the price hikes of sintered corundum and white corundum. Currently, the supply in Shanxi is relatively tight, while production in Henan and Guizhou remains relatively normal.

The supply disturbance in alumina is weakening, and the overall market may continue in a tight balance state. However, there might be insufficient support for corundum in the later stage, making it difficult to achieve price increases in transactions.

【Graphite】Despite the reduced supply of graphite in the northeast region, there was no customary price increase this year due to reduced exports, poor domestic demand, and the impact of large enterprises entering the market with low prices, resulting in a situation where there’s no floor price, only lower prices.

【Magnesia Sand】Trading of magnesia sand was light, with some downward pressure on prices due to fund retrieval activities and the performance of top-grade magnesia sand. While the price of high-grade magnesia sand remained stable, mid-grade, high-purity, and fused magnesia sand prices all experienced certain declines. With shutdowns imminent, companies have begun arranging holidays.

【Alumina】As the Spring Festival approaches, alumina companies prioritize cash collection. There’s a reversal in the market for high-grade and medium-to-low-grade alumina, with high-grade alumina facing some sluggish sales while sales of medium-to-low-grade alumina have increased. Issues such as how to make good use of imported ore, blend various domestic ores, and ensure continuous fuel supply are all troubling alumina calcination enterprises.

【Silicon Carbide】Silicon carbide companies, in efforts to retrieve funds and reduce inventory, reluctantly lowered prices for sales. However, due to a high inventory of first-grade products, prices continued to decline, with a decrease of 400-450 yuan/ton, while the pressure on second-grade product inventory was not significant, leading to only a slight decrease in prices.




Analysis of China’s Bulk Refractory Raw Materials Market in January 2024