According to UK energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie, natural graphite concentrate supply is moving west away from China towards East Africa.

IMAGE

China zeros in on global graphite

Wood Mackenzie predict that demand from battery makers will force the supply chain west as China’s natural graphite concentrate supply chain falls from 68 per cent of the market share in 2017 to 31 per cent of the market in 2040.

Recent tariff changes have already begun to show in China’s import statistics.

In 2018, as a result of growing African graphite supply, China became a major flake graphite importer for the first time in a generation, with flake volumes over 60,000 tonnes for the year over a period which also saw a 12 pe cent decline in Chinese exports. This trend has continued into 2019, with import data showing that in February 2019, China imported approximately 13,500 tonnes of flake graphite.

The Chinese Government is encouraging trade with Africa by means of zero tariffs on imported goods and Chinese suppliers have already begun to acknowledge that new graphite supply from Mozambique and Madagascar are beginning to compete within the Chinese market, by providing low cost feedstock, which is often of a higher quality. In 2018, Madagascar was the second largest offshore supplier of natural graphite to China after Mozambique.

The rising Chinese supply constraints coupled with the rising interest in the graphite market more broadly, and for use in the battery sector specifically, have resulted in China now being open to global graphite.

According to Energy Storage Journal, “production costs have been rising and supply falling in China since 2016 amid plant closures, mainly in the Shandong and Heilongjiang provinces, the centres for the country’s flake graphite and spherical graphite processing industry and mine”.

As this story continues to unfold over the course of the year, it is expected that number of smaller Chinese operations will be displaced by African suppliers and China will become a net importer of flake graphite for the first time.

Australian based BlackEarth Minerals NL is fast becoming perfectly the leading supplier of high-grade large flake graphite to the Chinese market.

On 1 May 2019, the Company appointed Australia Minerals & Resources (AustMin) as strategic offtake advisors for the Chinese market.

Founder and Chairman of AustMin, Eileen Hao, is a graphite specialist with significant experience working in industrial minerals, metals and applications, specialising on lithium-ion battery materials and graphite applications both in China and globally.

BlackEarth continues to advance its portfolio of Madagascan graphite projects concurrently with discussions in China surrounding offtake agreements and independent product testing of its high-quality graphite concentrate.


中国不再关注全球石墨

根据英国能源研究和咨询公司Wood Mackenzie(伍德麦肯齐)的数据,天然石墨精矿供应正从中国往外向西转移至东非。

Wood Mackenzie预计,电池制造商的需求会慢慢被迫向西延伸跟随着中国天然石墨浓缩液供应链的市场份额从2017年的68%下降至2040年的31%。

中国的进口统计数据已经展示了最近的关税变化。2018年,由于非洲石墨供应量的不断增加,中国在几十年来首次成为鳞片石墨的主要进口国,今年的鳞片石墨的产量已经超过了6万吨,然而同期的中国出口也下降了12%。这种趋势会一直持续到2019年,进口数据也显示了在2019年的2月份,中国大约进口了13500吨片状石墨。

中国政府正加大鼓励与非洲的零关税的进口商品,中国供应商已经开始承认来自莫桑比克和马达加斯加的新的石墨供应已经逐渐进入中国的市场竞争,通过提供低成本的原料和高质量的保障。据预测,在2018年,马达加斯加将成为中国的第二大天然石墨离岸供应国,仅次于莫桑比克。

由于中国供应限制的加剧加上对石墨市场兴趣的上升,尤其在电池行业,导致了中国对全球石墨的开放。

据《储能杂志》(Energy Storage Journal)报道,“自2016年以来,随着工厂关闭,中国的生产成本一直在上升但是供应量却在下降。这主要对在山东和黑龙江两省造成了很大的影响,因为这两省是中国片状石墨和球形石墨加工业及采矿业的中心。”

随着这个形势在今年继续展开,预计中国的一些规小模工厂将会被的非洲供应商取代,中国也将首次成为片状石墨的净进口国。

澳大利亚的BlackEarth Minerals NL正迅速成为中国市场的优质大片状石墨的领先供应商。

2019年5月1日,公司任命澳大利亚矿业公司(Australia Minerals &amp)作为中国市场的战略顾问。

奥斯丁公司(AUSTMin)的创始人兼董事长郝爱玲(Eileen Hao)是一位石墨专家,在工业矿物、金属和应用领域有着丰富的经验,她于中国和全球锂离子电池材料和石墨应用领域有卓越的贡献。

BlackEarth继续推进与马达加斯加石墨项目的投资,与此同时,该公司在中国就其高质量石墨精矿的采出协议和独立产品测试进行了讨论。

*Article published in the July-September 2019 issue of The Asia Miner

Resource Center Whitepapers, Videos, Case Studies