Synthetic Graphite Market - Snapshot

Synthetic graphite is a man-made substance manufactured through the high-temperature processing of amorphous carbon materials. The types of amorphous carbon used as precursors to graphite are many and can be derived from petroleum, coal, or natural and synthetic organic materials. The main application of high-purity synthetic graphite is as a carbon raiser additive in iron and steel. This application consumes a significant portion of synthetic graphite.

Increase in Demand for Graphite Electrodes to Drive Synthetic Graphite Market

Synthetic graphite is extensively used for manufacturing graphite electrodes, which are used in electric arc furnaces for smelting metals such as steel and in the metallurgy industry. China is a major producer and consumer of steel at the global level despite a fall in demand for the metal in the country as compared to 2015. Furthermore, increase in demand for synthetic graphite, and, in turn, steel, from India and other countries in Asia, North America, and the European Union (EU) is expected to compensate for the decline in demand for steel in China. Moreover, steel manufacturers prefer the electric arc furnace (EAF) method for the production of steel over the blast furnace-blast oxygen furnace (BOF) processes, owing to stricter environmental regulations. About 0.2 to 0.3 kilograms of graphite electrodes are required to produce one ton of steel utilizing the BOF process. Whereas, 0.7 to 0.8 kilograms of graphite electrodes are required to produce the same amount of steel by employing the EAF process. This leads to a sudden increase in demand for synthetic graphite.

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Additionally, environmental regulations in China are becoming increasingly stringent. This suggests that deploying the blast furnace-blast oxygen furnace (BOF) process using iron ore is likely to incur increasingly higher environmental taxes compared to using the electric arc furnace (EAF) process. Currently, steel scrap is in short supply in China, due to the closure of a large number of induction furnaces. However, in the long-term, the supply of domestic steel scrap is set to increase rapidly along with electricity supply. These factors are fueling the usage of the EAF method for the production of steel, thus driving the synthetic graphite market during the forecast period.

Synthetic graphite is a manufactured product made through the high-temperature treatment of amorphous carbon materials. The overall production cost of synthetic graphite is very high. For instance, in the U.S., the primary feedstock used for making synthetic graphite are calcined petroleum coke and coal tar pitch. This makes it up to 10 times more expensive to produce than conventional graphite, and as a result, hampers the market growth.

Leading Players Focusing on Geographical Expansion

Key players profiled in the synthetic graphite market include GrafTech International, Showa Denko K.K., SGL Group, Graphite India Limited, HEG Limited, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd., SEC Carbon, Ltd., Kaifeng Carbon Co., Ltd., and Nantong Yangzi Carbon Co., Ltd.. Production capacity expansions, geographical expansion, and acquisitions are strategies implemented by major players. For instance, in October 2016, Showa Denko K.K. acquired SGL GE Holding GmbH, which engages in the graphite electrode business and was a part of the SGL Carbon group based in Germany, for an enterprise value of EUR 350 Mn. The company’s decision to acquire SGL is in line with its medium term growth plan, ‘Project 2020,’ for increasing competitiveness of its graphite electrode business by enhancing cost competitiveness, reducing fixed costs, improving efficiency in logistics, reinforcing brand equity, and increasing purchasing power in raw material procurement. Additionally, in August 2017, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. completed the acquisition of GrafTech International Ltd. at a cost of US$ 5.05 per share, or a total value of US$ 706.5 Mn. GrafTech International Ltd. became a fully owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. after the acquisition.

Graphite Electrode Segment to Dominate the Synthetic Graphite Market

Graphite electrodes are large cylindrical structures made up of needle coke (petroleum coke). These electrodes are available in small or large diameters for high-temperature and high-intensity applications such as ferrous and non-ferrous metal production. Graphite electrodes are primarily used in the manufacture of steel in electric arc furnaces. They are also employed in the steel refining and smelting processes. This contributed to the significant share of the graphite electrodes segment in the global synthetic graphite market.

Storage and Energy Transmission End-use Industry Segment to Register the Fastest Growth Rate

The storage & energy transmission segment includes large energy storage such as battery storage. It involves the generation, distribution, switching, storage, and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms (generators, batteries, transformers, etc.). The increasing use of synthetic carbon as anodes in lithium-ion batteries is anticipated to drive the storage & energy transmission end-use industry segment.

Emerging Economies to Create Opportunities in the Synthetic Graphite Market

In terms of volume, Asia Pacific and North America are leading regions of the synthetic graphite market. In terms of value, the market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand at a substantial pace during the forecast period, followed by that in North America and Europe. The market in Latin America is estimated to expand considerably, owing to a rise in demand for lithium-ion batteries in the storage & energy transmission industry and increase in demand for synthetic graphite in the electronics industry. In terms of country, the market in India, China, Canada, and Germany is anticipated to expand at a significant pace, due to an increase in demand for synthetic graphite in various end-use industries such as electronics, nuclear industry, chemical industry, mechanical engineering, and metallurgy.

Synthetic Graphite Market - Overview

This report analyzes and forecasts the synthetic graphite market at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on revenue (US$ Mn) and volume (tons) from 2018 to 2026. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global synthetic graphite market. It also covers the impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for synthetic graphite during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the synthetic graphite market at the global level.

The report comprises a detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global synthetic graphite market. The Porter’s Five Forces model for the synthetic graphite market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global synthetic graphite market by segmenting it in terms of product and end-use industry. The segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes the current and projected demand for synthetic graphite in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The report also covers demand for individual product and end-use industry segments in all the regions. Key players operating in the synthetic graphite market include GrafTech International, Showa Denko K.K., SGL Group, Graphite India Limited, HEG Limited, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd., SEC Carbon, Ltd., Kaifeng Carbon Co., Ltd., and Nantong Yangzi Carbon Co., Ltd. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

The report provides the size of the synthetic graphite market for 2017 and forecast for the next nine years. The size of the global synthetic graphite market has been provided in terms of revenue and volume. Market numbers have been estimated based on product and end-use industry. Market size and forecast for each product and end-use industry have been provided for the global and regional market.

We conducted in-depth interviews and discussions with a number of key industry participants and opinion leaders to compile the research report. Primary research represents the bulk of research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. We reviewed key players operating in various end-use industries, annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents for competitive analysis and market understanding. Secondary research also includes recent trade, technical writing, Internet sources, and statistical data from government websites, trade associations, and agencies. This has proven to be the most reliable, effective, and successful approach for obtaining precise market data, capturing industry participants’ insights, and recognizing business opportunities.

Global Synthetic Graphite Market, by Product

  • Electrodes
  • Isostatic
  • Specialty Graphite
  • Carbon Fibers
  • Others

Global Synthetic Graphite Market, by End-use Industry

  • Electronics
  • Nuclear Industry
  • Chemical Industry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgy
    • Ferrous
    • Non-ferrous
  • Energy Storage & Transmission
  • Others

Global Synthetic Graphite Market, by Region

  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Middle East & Africa
    • South Africa
    • GCC
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America

Key Takeaways

  • Extensive analysis of the synthetic graphite market trends and shares from 2017 to 2026 to identify market opportunities and analyze industry developments
  • List of key developments in the synthetic graphite market made by major players
  • List of key factors responsible for building the upcoming opportunistic roadmap for the synthetic graphite market at global, regional, and country level
  • Insights into market opportunities for various stakeholders in the value chain and a detailed competition landscape for key players dominating the industry to understand the competition level
  • Porters’ Five Forces analysis highlights the potency of buyers and suppliers and enables stakeholders to make profit-oriented business decisions. It helps them analyze the strengths and weaknesses of competitors to gain a strategic position in the market.
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