Recent developments such as Tesla Motors’ plans to manufacture lithium-ion batteries indicate the promising future for graphite. More applications of lithium-ion batteries in electronic devices will facilitate the growth in demand for graphite. In 2013, the global market for graphite was valued at US$ 13.6 billion, and is projected to increase at 3.70% CAGR and reach US$ 17.5 billion in 2020.
Key Market Dynamics
The prevalent need for using graphite filament and components in the automobile industry acts as the necessary driver for growth of global graphite market. Cylinder heads, motors, clutch materials, disk brake linings & pads, gaskets, and exhaust systems, among others, are produced with graphite as the core material. Batteries continue to use graphite for production, which also surges the demand in the global market. Replacement of asbestos has also served to hike adoption of graphite in several applications. The market is also impacted by growing use of graphite in production of ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).
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While the global graphite market is primarily classified into natural and synthetic graphite, the latter being further segmented into graphite powder, graphite blocks, graphite electrode, carbon fiber and others. The end-use-based classification in the global graphite market includes refractory, lubrication, foundry and production of batteries and electrodes, among others. Revenue-wise, the synthetic graphite segment (comprising all sub-types) garnered US$ 12.49 billion in 2013, anticipating to procure US$ 16.06 billion by 2020-end at 3.7% CAGR. In the segment, graphite electrodes secured revenues worth US$ 5.06 billion in 2013, predictably expanding at 3% CAGR through 2020.
In 2013, Asia’s graphite market recorded the value of US$ 9.17 billion, becoming the largest regional market for graphite. In terms of revenue, Asia continues to dominate the global market with 67.4% share, while the rest is accounted by Europe and North America at 14.1% and 10.4% correspondingly. By 2020, Asia-Pacific is slated to expand its graphite market at 4.0% CAGR and dominate in terms of global graphite production. Meanwhile, North America’s global prominence is slated to get lowered to 10.3%, while Europe will witness marginal increase to 14.2%.
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Key Market Players
Production of graphite is predominantly concentrated in China and other Asia-Pacific countries. Some of the key manufacturers and leading companies participating in the global graphite market include, Northern Graphite Corporation, Asbury Graphite Mills, Inc, Energizer Resources Inc., Lamboo Resources Limited, Triton Minerals Ltd., Mason Graphite, Flinders Resources Ltd., Focus Graphite Inc., Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., GrafTech International Holdings Inc., Alabama Graphite Corp., Graphite India Limited, SGL Carbon SE, Showa Denko K.K., Syrah Resources Limited, and Nippon Graphite Industries, Co., Ltd., among others.