Being oligopolistic in nature, players in the global needle coke market have an upper hand to increase prices at their discretion, observes Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new report. In the recent past, the market has been witnessing consolidation of players to curb high cost of operations that helps improve profitability. This, however, has severely impacted the production of graphite electrodes thereby affecting the steel industry.
Key players operating in the global needle coke market include Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Philips 66, JXTG Holdings Inc., Seadrift Coke LP, C-Chem Co.Ltd., PETROLEUM COKE INDUSTRIES CO. (K.S.), Baotailong New Material Co. Ltd., Bao-steel Group, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited, Shanxi Hongte Coal Chemical Co. Ltd., Sinosteel Anshan Research Institute of Thermo-Energy Co. Ltd., Petrochina International Jinzhou Petrochemical Co. Ltd., and Shijiazhuang Deli Chemical Co.
Based on type, the market is divided into petroleum derived and coal tar pitch derived. Of the two petroleum based needle coke outpaces coal tar pitch based needle coke in terms of demand as the former can withstand extreme temperatures in steel production and is relatively less detrimental to the environment.
In terms of grade, intermediate grade needle coke leads due to its high sulfur content and leading coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) amongst all. Geography-wise, Asia Pacific and Europe stood as significant regions for needle coke. The increasing demand for steel and increased mining activities in China and India account for significant growth of Asia Pacific market.
Rising Demand for Aluminum from End-use Industries Benefits Market
Across the world, the rising volume of steel production is indirectly benefitting the needle coke market. Needle coke is a premium grade, high-value, petroleum coke to manufacture graphite electrodes for steel production. Needle coke is the main electric arc furnace heating material for steel production.
The increasing switch from induction furnaces to electric arc furnaces (EAF) in several countries because of polluting nature of the former is also acting in favor of the needle coke market. However, the limited manufacturing capacity of needle coke that is employed in the manufacture of graphite electrodes is proving to be roadblock to those plans. For instance, in China, nearly 300,000 tons of graphic electrode manufacturing has been reduced since the second half of 2016 due to tightening of pollution limit of industrial plants. This has resulted in closure of about 30 percent of graphite electrode production, while some have restricted their output.
Apart from this, worldwide the production and consumption of aluminum is on the rise to serve a large number of end-use industries. For instance, the growth of automobiles and electrical appliances industry have led to substantial increase in aluminum production in the country. Today, China accounts for nearly 50% of the world’s production and consumption of aluminum. Considered as the metal of the future, aluminum finds increasing use in high-tech manufacturing and transportation.
Fluctuating Needle Coke Prices Impacts Production of Industrial Commodities such as Steel
On the downside, however, fluctuations in crude oil prices impacts electrode prices and thus affects steel production. This is because needle coke accounts for nearly 40% cost of graphite electrodes. The fluctuating prices of needle coke, which is mainly derived from petroleum, has a direct correlation for steel production through EAF and graphite prices.
The review presented here is based on the findings of a TMR report, titled “Needle Coke Market (Type - Petroleum Derived and Coal Tar Pitch Derived; Grade - Intermediate, Premium, and Super Premium; End-User - Steel, Aluminum Industry, Lithium Battery, Nuclear Power, and Aerospace) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2016–2025.”
The global needle coke market is segmented as follows:
- Global Needle Coke Market: by Type
- Petroleum Derived
- Coal Tar Pitch Derived
- Global Needle Coke Market: by Grade
- Super Premium
- Global Needle Coke Market: by End-User
- Steel Industry
- Aluminum Industry
- Lithium Battery
- Nuclear Power
- Others (Electric Carbon Brush, etc.)
- Global Needle Coke Market: by Region
- North America
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East and Africa
- North America
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