A research found that in 2016, China produced 70% of the world’s natural graphite. With a production capacity of about 750000 tpy, China continues to be the world’s largest producer of natural graphite. However, the growing supply of graphite from other nations will cause China’s worldwide dominance to wane over the next few years.
In addition, rising demand for high-quality graphite from the auto industry and auto OEMs is one of the reasons that will support the graphite market’s expansion in the years to come.
Industry Demand for Graphite from Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium ion batteries frequently use graphite as an anode material. In the upcoming years, there will be a 200 percent growth in demand for graphite. The rapidly developing electric car sector and the emergence of the utility storage market are contributing factors to the growth of the graphite market.
Another element influencing this growth is the global expansion of the lithium ion battery market. During the projected period, the aforementioned elements are most likely to generate sizable growth potential for the graphite market.
Additionally, according to a report, investments in the lithium ion battery sector are predicted to rise by almost $12 billion by 2020.
Additionally, a 35GWh production-capable lithium ion factory is being built in Nevada, United States. By 2020, the plant is anticipated to be operating.
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Nuclear Pebble Bed Reactors Are Becoming More Popular
A new type of high temperature gas reactor known as a nuclear pebble bed reactor uses uranium as well as a significant amount of flake graphite as a moderator. Compared to traditional reactors, pebble bed reactors produce power more effectively and safely. A pebble bed reactor typically consumes 3000 tonnes of graphite.
For instance, China Nuclear Engineering Group (CNEG) declared plans to construct the world’s fourth generation nuclear power plant by 2017; it is anticipated that the plant will be operating by 2021. The demand for spherical graphite will rise significantly during the forecast period as a result of this fact.
By 2020, 500 new pebble reactors, each with a 100 GW& capacity, are anticipated to be deployed in the United States, according to West Virginia University experts. For installation and operation through 2020, 40,000 tonnes of graphite are anticipated to be needed.
Demand from the Automotive Industry is Growing
Due to its lubrication, improved energy efficiency, high mechanical strength, and electrical conductivity, graphite plays a vital role in the automotive industry. Asbestos can be effectively replaced with graphite. It is utilised in gaskets, clutch materials, brake lining, etc.
A joint venture between BMW and the German carbon graphite manufacturer SGL Group to make carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for BMW I series electric vehicles was launched in 2011. Additionally, SGL Group announced intentions to treble production in September 2014 to meet the growing demand for graphite around the world.
A thorough analysis of the graphite industry has led analysts to the conclusion that the market is expanding at a startling rate, with China accounting for a significant portion of the global graphite market. In terms of output, the China graphite market is forecast to be opportunistic, and supply is also anticipated to increase.
The expansion of the graphite market will undoubtedly be influenced by the proliferation of important market players and the acceptance of graphite in end-use sectors around the world, including the automotive, auto OEM, and electric vehicle manufacturing industries. The MEA region is also experiencing profitable growth, however the progress may be limited to some extent by environmental issues and political regulations.
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Graphite Market: Competitive Landscape
Some of the significant players in the global graphite market include:
- GrafTech International Ltd
- HEG Limited
- SEC CARBON LIMITED
- Nippon Carbon Co Ltd
- Graphite India Limited
- Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd
- SGL Carbon S.E.
- Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd.
- SHOWA DENKO K.K.
- AMG Advanced metallurgical Group N.V.
- North America
- The U.S.
- The UK
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Southeast Asia
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa