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The global graphite market size was USD 13.60 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 1.23% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 14.83 billion in 2021 to USD 25.70 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.2% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden decline in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
The product is a kind of elemental carbon that is one of the few elements found in its natural state. It combines metallic and non-metallic qualities, making it ideal for a wide variety of industrial applications. It has high electrical and thermal conductivity, exceptional thermal stability, and lubricity.
In the coming decades, this industry is expected to face major market shifts, as the booming lithium-ion battery industry is expected to significantly boost production. Via the use of refractory materials, the steel industry has historically been the driver of consumption. Robust growth for the battery industry is expected to fuel demand, depending on economic factors such as market penetration and adoption, as a growing number of countries around the world step up their efforts to encourage the production and use of green energy in order to transition towards a lower-emission future in the transport and energy sectors.
Decreasing Lithium-ion Battery Production due to Shut Down amid COVID-19 Pandemic May Hamper Production
The coronavirus pandemic has turned into the biggest health, social and economic crisis in a decade, affecting almost every global supply chain to the point that material sourcing, commerce, and delivery systems will certainly never be the same again.
The coronavirus pandemic has manifested into the biggest health, social and economic crisis in a generation, disrupting almost every global supply chain to such a profound extent that mechanisms for material sourcing, trade, and distribution will likely never be the same again. The lithium-ion battery industry is one of the end-use industries of the market that has been distributed due to the pandemic. From the supply chain's raw material foundations in Australia, Chile, to the battery cell manufacturing industry in China, Japan, and South Korea, the cells used by Tesla's around the world are likely to have reached every continent before reaching the final automotive that is powered off the showroom floor. Almost every part of this supply chain has been affected in some way.
The pandemic has lowered its forecasts for flake graphite demand due to a contraction in the battery and conventional end markets. The global market was poor due to a slowing global economy and decreased industrial output, which resulted in production cuts and reduced capital spending around the world.
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Rising Application in Automotive Industry is a Prominent Trend
Graphite is a solution in the automobile industry for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, which are used to fuel new-generation electric vehicles and increase energy density while reducing charging times. It is also used to make thermally conductive polymers, which are increasingly being used to replace metal in the manufacturing of automotive components.
Demand is expected to rise in the coming years as anode content use of lithium-ion batteries increases in line with the adoption of electric vehicles and lithium-ion battery applications.
China is also the world's largest producer for battery applications, a demand segment projected to expand in the upcoming years, with the highest growth rate for lithium-ion battery manufacturing in the automotive industry and energy storage systems. The lithium-ion battery value chain is primarily based in China, and Chinese anode suppliers have the highest installed capacities globally.
Increasing Demand from the Refractory Industry to Propel Growth
The steel industry is the primary market for natural graphite; the refractory industry is the highest end-use, accounting for almost half of global demand.
The refractory industry uses the product to make products for high-temperature conditions, such as linings for kilns, incinerators, reactors, and furnaces. Refractory materials are often made of large crystals, with several smaller flake sizes and amorphous. Steel is the main producer of refractory products, followed by non-ferrous metals and non-metallic manufacturing sectors such as cement and glass. The product is used in electric arc furnaces and simple oxygen furnaces, linings in limonite smelting, and crucibles in steel, non-ferrous, and precious metal processing, as well as in refractories as magnesia-carbon, alumina-carbon, alumina-magnesia-carbon.
According to World Steel Association AISBL, world crude steel production in 2019 was 1,869 million tons, out of which China accounted for 53.3%, while EU (28) only accounted for 8.5%. Steel is a necessary component of modern civilization. It is also important to a sustainable circular economy. It is a permanent commodity that can be recycled several times without destroying properties. From transportation networks, roads, and homes to construction, agriculture, and energy, the industry continues to grow its offering of engineered high-strength steels that minimize application weight.
Thus, the increase in the steel/refractory industry will boost the market size in the upcoming years.
Increased Export Duty to Hinder Growth Worldwide
The raised export duty on graphite in China is stifling the market's growth by limiting the availability outside the country to promote domestic demand. The steel industry has urged the Indian government to impose a 40% export duty on electrodes refractories, one of the most important raw materials, in order to boost domestic production and lower costs. The industry also requires the government to lift the $238-900 per tonne country-specific import anti-dumping duty. Anti-dumping duties and high demand have driven domestic electrode rates up to $15,000 per tonne in the last three years, from $2,350 per tonne in June 2015. Steel production costs have increased by around $1,500-1,700 per tonne as the prices have risen.
Synthetic Segment to Hold a Significant Share of the Global Market
Based on product, this market is segmented into synthetic and natural. One of the crystalline forms of the element carbon is natural graphite. It has a layered structure, and its atoms are arranged in a hexagonal structure. Metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, and meteorites contain the natural product, which turns into a diamond at high pressures and temperatures.
Synthetic product is made by baking petroleum coke at extremely high temperatures, which is a complicated procedure. It has a purity of over 99 percent carbon and is used in manufactured materials that demand a very pure substance.
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Refractories Segment to Dominate Market in the Near Future
On the basis of applications, the market is classified into refractories, foundries, batteries, friction products, lubricants, and others. The rapid industrial development and increased demand from industries such as automotive, building, aerospace, and metal manufacturing, among others, can be attributed to the refractories segment's expansion.
Graphite was used as facing sand and mold wash in a number of casting processes by the foundry industry, which accounted for the third-highest use. Ferrous castings accounted for the greatest global share of all casting types, led by non-ferrous castings such as aluminum, copper, zinc, and lead, magnesium, and titanium-based castings. The most popular uses for foundry-cast metals include automotive, pipelines, and machinery.
Other uses include lubricants such as oils, greases, and fluid dispersions in manufacturing and consumer applications; molded products for the automobile, aerospace, electronics, and industrial machinery industries; friction materials such as brake pads and clutches for the automotive and aviation industries; and building materials.
Asia Pacific Graphite Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The market in Asia Pacific stood at USD 8.24 billion in 2020. The region dominated in terms of the graphite market share of 60.6% in 2020 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. High demand for batteries, conductors, electrodes, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and others shall drive the market growth. China and India rank first and second respectively in producing crude steel. High demand from steel foundries is expected to drive the regional market. For instance, in 2017, Tata Steel Limited (TSL) invented a process to derive graphene naturally from shellac resin. The company proposed a graphene project of a capacity of 20 tonnes per year.
High demand from European nations for batteries and other electrical devices shall drive the demand. The well-established automotive industry in Germany, UK, and other countries is now focusing on developing EVs which are powered by Li-ion batteries. Europe is planning to declare tech independence by becoming a leader in next-gen batteries. Germany’s SGL Carbon and France’s Carbon Savoie have been corralled into a prominent battery alliance launched by Brussels in 2020.
Latin America is expected to show considerable growth in the market attributed to the improving economic conditions and industrial development. The mining and foundry sector is one of the major GDP contributors of this region which is experiencing growth. For example, according to the Brazilian Foundry Association, the foundry market experienced a growth of 16% in 3 years. The Middle East & Africa is expected to show moderate growth. Increasing demand for EVs and other electronic devices is anticipated to foster the graphite market growth.
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Key Companies to Strengthen Their Market Shares by Adopting Strategic Business Plans
AMG (Hauzenberg, Germany), Asbury Carbons (New Jersey, U.S.), EPM Group (Moscow, Russia), Grafitbergbau Kaisersberg GmbH (Kaysersberg, Austria), Graphite India Limited (GIL) (India), Imerys (Paris, France), Nacional de Grafite (Brazil) are some of the market's key players.
The global industry is extremely fragmented, and major players have used a variety of strategies to expand their footprints in this sector, including new product releases, extensions, alliances, joint ventures, collaborations, acquisitions, and others. Players in the industry are mostly motivated by the price and end-use of their products. Several big players are engaging in various targeted product launches and geographic growth to support brand and sales to improve the company's market share and extend its global presence.
An Infographic Representation of Graphite Market
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The global graphite market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and applications. Also, it offers detailed insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, it encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years. This report also includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and analyzes the latest dynamics and opportunities in the industry.
Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Kilo Tons)
Product; Application; Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 13.60 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 25.70 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 8.24 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 8.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The refractories segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The increasing demand for the refractory industry is driving market growth.
AMG, Asbury Carbons, Eagle Graphite, EPM Group, Grafitbergbau Kaisersberg GmbH, Graphite India Limited (GIL), Imerys, and Nacional de Grafite are the major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
The surging demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to drive the adoption of these products.
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