Graphite electrodes are a vital input for electric arc steel-making and ladle refinement of steel, as well as play an essential role in the automotive industry. Increasing the use of graphite in lithium-ion batteries is the major factor driving the growth of the global market.
The global graphite electrodes market has observed notable growth in recent years. The increased demand for high-quality steel is a significant factor driving the market’s growth.
According to World Steel Association, in 2016, 1630 million tonnes of crude steel were produced globally. In addition, the shifting trend of steel manufacturers towards manufacturing steel via electric arc furnaces over the blast furnace is also a prime determinant driving the market growth.
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The main restraint of the Graphite electrode is increasing price. The price has jumped almost five times in 2017. The rising Chinese electrode consumption and restricted exports may hamper the graphite electrode market in the coming years.
Recently, the EAF route gained popularity worldwide and Needle Coke prices soared four times from early 2017 levels. As a result of overcapacity in the Electrode industry, six plants mainly in the USA and Europe had to be closed down over the last three to four years bringing down the Electrode capacity by around 200,000 MT.
Regular Power (RP)
High Power (HP)
Ultra-High Power (UHP)
Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)
Ladle Furnace (LF)
Geographically, the global market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. Amongst all the regions Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest market and is likely to witness the highest growth over the years.
China is the world’s largest graphite producer in 2017. It produced 780,000 MT of metal, the same amount it produced the previous two years.
According to the US Geological Survey, China accounted for 65% of world graphite mining last year, and 35% of consumption. Furthermore, India is also a major producer of graphite electrodes, contributing 22% to global production. Apart from GIL, which has a 98,000-tonne capacity, HEG is the other large producer from India, manufacturing 80,000-tonne.
GrafTech International, Graphite India Limited, Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd, TOKAI CARBON, HEG LIMITED, Kaifeng Carbon Co., Ltd, JILIN CARBON, SHOWA DENKO K.K., SANGRAF International, and Misano Group are prominent players in the graphite electrode market.
In 2017, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. acquired SGL GE’s U.S. business to set up a manufacturing base in North America so that increasing the company’s presence in a prominent region of the Electric Arc Furnace market. The deal is expected to help Tokai build a solid business base as a global competitor, supported by a tri-regional structure consisting of bases in Asia, Europe, and North America.