Published: Jun, 2018

The global graphite electrode market was valued at around US$ 10 Bn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of around 3% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled ‘Graphite Electrode Market  – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026.’ Expansion of the global graphite electrode market is driven by rise in demand from steel companies. The graphite electrode market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a CAGR of around 3% during the forecast period. Advancements in manufacturing technologies and increasing adaption of EAF-based steel production are likely to propel the graphite electrode market in the region.

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Rise in Demand for Graphite Electrodes in End-use Industries Is Expected to Drive the Market

Graphite electrodes possess favorable electrical properties, high mechanical strength at high temperatures, high electrical and heat conductivity, low impurity content, chemical stability, and high vibrational resistance. They can withstand temperatures of up to 1,800 °C in electric arc furnaces. They exhibit superior thermal expansion and thermal shock resistance, which help in reducing the entire mass of steel. Graphite electrodes used in EAF provide flexibility in varying steel production unlike the blast furnace method of steel production. EAF units can be rapidly started and stopped, allowing the steel mill to vary production according to demand. Due to flexibility, quick turnaround time, and lower fixed costs of EAFs, they have gained popularity among steel producers. In addition, regulations are being laid down by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to encourage capacity expansions for electric arc furnaces. Steel products are widely used in the construction, automotive, infrastructure, aerospace & defense, and oil & gas industries. An increase in demand for steel products from end-use industries is projected to boost the utilization rate of graphite electrodes in EAFs.

Increase in Utilization of Steel Scrap Expected to Boost Graphite Electrode Market

Scrap utilization rates for steel producing industries differ significantly around the world depending on the production process. Steel scrap is usually sourced from waste generated during the steelmaking process due to rolling, conditioning, cutting, and trimming processes or is generated in the form of steel products at the end of their service life. Developed economies have high scrap availability due to the presence of large steel producing industries and higher consumption of steel products. This steel scrap is used as input in electric arc furnaces for steel production. More than 80% of steel produced in electric arc furnaces units is manufactured using steel scraps. This greatly reduces the energy required to make steel when compared with primary steelmaking from ores. EAF provides an extremely effective pollution control system by including primary fume extraction systems combined with secondary dusting. EAF-based steel production units are environmentally friendly as they utilize metallic scrap. Therefore, steel manufacturers are anticipating the substitution of Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) with EAF in response to the rising scrap availability. As graphite electrodes are vital heating elements in electric arc furnaces, an increase in adoption of electric arc furnaces for steel manufacturing is expected to boost demand for graphite electrodes.

Steel & Non-ferrous Metals Application Segment to Dominate the Global Graphite Electrode Market

In terms of application, the graphite electrode market can be divided into steel & non-ferrous metals, fused materials, chemical processing, and others. The steel & non-ferrous segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. The steel & non-ferrous metals application includes the use of graphite electrodes in steel production. Graphite electrodes are used in EAF-based steel production. Due to changes in Chinese regulations, EAFs are expected to dominate steel production.

Large Customer Base in Developing Countries of Asia Pacific to Create Opportunities

In terms of region, the global graphite electrode market can be categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific accounts for a prominent share of the graphite electrode market as the region dominates the global steel production. The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a rapid pace due to increase in EAF-based steel production.

Key players operating in the graphite electrode market include Showa Denko K.K., GrafTech International, Graphite India Limited, Nippon Carbon Co. Ltd., HEG Limited, Kaifeng Carbon Co., Ltd., Nantong Yangzi Carbon, SEC Carbon, Ltd., Nantong Yangzi Carbon Co., Ltd., and Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. Companies are looking for mergers and acquisition to increase market footprint and market share. For instance, in 2017, Showa Denko K.K. acquired SGL’s three plants in Spain, Austria, and Malaysia and reduced capacity in Japan and increased capacity in the U.S. between 2017 and 2026.

The global graphite electrode market can be segmented as follows:

Global Graphite Electrode Market, by Type

  • Ultra-high Power (UHP)
  • High Power (HP)
  • Regular Power (RP)

Global Graphite Electrode Market, by Application

  • Steel & Non-ferrous Metals
  • Fused Materials
  • Chemical Processing
  • Others

Global Graphite Electrode Market, by Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

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