Graphite is considered as one of the most versatile non-metallic minerals in the world. Graphite is a naturally formed polymer of carbon and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. It has the highest natural strength and stiffness of any material. It maintains its stability and strength to temperatures in excess of 3,600°C and is very resistant to chemical attack. It is considered as one of the lightest of all reinforcing agents and has high natural lubricity. Owing to its unique properties it provides a range of uses in manufacturing and metallurgy. On traditional basis, the demand for graphite is essentially tied due to steel industry where it is widely used for crucibles, liner for ladles and refractories among many others. Moreover in automotive industry it is used as gaskets, clutch materials and brake linings. Additionally, it is also used in lubricants, reinforcements in plastics and batteries. On the other hand synthetic graphite have a purity of 99% carbon and is used in products where particularly pure material is required. The global graphite market has seen an enormous turnaround during the past two years as the demand for natural and synthetic graphite is increasing.
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Graphite Market: Drivers & Restraints
Increasing graphite consumption in batteries (80% of the graphite used in batteries is consumed by lithium-ion batteries) is one of the major factor driving the growth in the global graphite market. Advancement in manufacturing goods shipment, increasing metallurgy and steelmaking activity along with rise in new technological advanced applications are the trends identified in the global graphite market. Push from the government towards go green side is also helping in increasing the degree of awareness among the end users. However, fluctuation in prices are the major setback for global graphite market.
Graphite Market: Segmentation
On the basis of types global graphite market can be broadly classified into:
- Natural Graphite (Flake Graphite, Amorphous Graphite and Vein Graphite)
- Synthetic Graphite (Includes Graphite Electrode, Carbon Fiber, Graphite Blocks, Graphite Powder, and carbon nanotubes among many others )
On the basis of major end user segments, global graphite market can be classified as:
- Foundry facings and Lubricants
- Others (Friction products, Graphite shapes, Recarburishing, Powder Metals, Plastics, Steel Making etc)
Graphite Market: Region-wise Outlook
The global graphite market is expected to register a CAGR of approximately 4.5 percent over the forecasted period 2015-2025. Depending upon geographic regions, global graphite market is segmented into seven key regions: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. The market growth in developed economies for these systems is expected between 4% and 6% whereas in developing regions the growth may even exceed 6% during coming five years. With advancement in technology, increased investment in automotive and aerospace industry and overall economic growth, Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing market for graphite market. India and china will serve as the most attractive market in the Asia-Pacific region. Other regions are also forecast to register a significant growth in the global graphite market during the forecast period 2015-2025.
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Graphite Market: Key Players
Some of the key players identified in the global graphite market are GrafTech International Limited, Mason Graphite, Focus Graphite Inc., Graphite India, Ltd., HEG, LTD., Eagle Graphite Corporation, Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd, SGL Carbon Group, SEC Carbon Ltd., Showa Denko Carbon Inc., Asbury Graphite Mills, TOYO TANSO and Mersen SA, among many others.