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Traditional industries prepare for a carbon neutral era amid price-hike

May 24, 2021 | By EDN

Since the beginning of this year, the prices of various raw materials including steel, petrochemicals, cement, paper pulp, glass, etc. have been rising simultaneously. However, market watchers have pointed out that the latest trends are not short-lived, and could be here to stay. The raw material market has been reorganizing for a period of time, leading to many low-end production capabilities becoming eliminated, ushering a new turning point in supply and demand. Also, as more companies are looking to enforce "carbon neutrality", high-priced raw materials could become the new normal with additional costs like a carbon tax.

China Steel Corporation Chairman C.T. Wong was among the first to consider the latest trends of high steel prices a new era. From a supply and demand perspective, he believes that regardless of international coal and iron ore prices or the performance of steel prices in various regions, he is optimistic about the continued boom in steel prices in the future. More importantly, for the sake of carbon neutrality and facing environmental pressures, it is estimated that the cost of steel will see a hike around USD$30 to 60 per metric tons.

China's implementation of carbon neutrality and carbon peaking policies have prompted a spike of demand in the past month for Taiwan Glass. Its branded glass demand for Chinese clients had increased significantly. The price of 5mm glass increased from RMB34.5 to RMB 40.75 at the end of last week, representing a monthly increase of 13.7%. In addition to the increase in demand for architectural glass, the demand for photovoltaic glass used in energy-saving industries has also grown significantly.

Taiwan Cement Chairman Chang An-ping echoed the same view. He agreed that there is a great chance that the price of raw materials will continue to rise in the future. Chang pointed out that the industry has not considered commodity prices' impact on the environment for far too long. The addition of carbon taxes to cheap raw materials will naturally push up the benchmark.


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