Tokai Carbon started study to build new offshore plant for graphite electrode, said the president Yoshinari Kudo at press briefing on Friday. The firm eyes China, Asia and Near and Middle East for the location. The firm has 2 domestic plants in Shiga and Yamaguchi and German Tokai Erftcarbon and Chinese joint venture with SGL for graphite electrode. Mr. Kudo said the firm tries to reorganize the production network under high yen rate and domestic higher electricity cost.Mr. Kudo said the new plant will use lower cost coke compared with traditional needle coke when rival makers expand the presence in China and India and emerging countries. He said the firm already started the test for the low cost operation. The firm expects the consolidated sales will increase by 5% to 32.5 billion yen for graphite electrode for 2012 from 2011. The unconsolidated sales will increase by 8.7% to 22.3 billion yen. The firm expects higher price at home and abroad while the sales volume is in line with 2011 level. The firm sees the market price already hit bottom. Mr. Kudo said the offshore market price already increased and the firm tries to increase the domestic selling price by 40,000 yen per tonne. The consolidated sales of graphite electrode decreased by 17.4% to 31 billion yen for 2011 from 2010. The unconsolidated sales decreased by 20% to 20.5 billion yen. The sales decreased due to lower selling price along with higher yen rate and slight lower sales volume.
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