The global graphite market is projected to surge at a CAGR of 3.95% from a market size of USD7.451 billion in 2019 to achieve a market size of USD9.402 billion by the end of 2025.
Graphite is found in the form of black crystal flakes and masses. Important properties include high electrical conductivity, thermal stability, and its slipperiness, i.e. also known as lubricity. These properties make is highly suitable for several industrial applications that include lubricants, steelmaking and in refractories, electronics, and lubricants. The use of graphite in emerging applications such as fuel cells, light-weight high-strength composite applications are predicted to surge the demand for graphite in the forecast period. The growing adoption of EVs are further fueling the market growth during the forecast period.
China, India, and Brazil are the top three major producers of graphite in the world. The steel industry is the major end-user of the global graphite market during the forecast period. Hence, with the decline in global steel production amid COVID-19 outbreak, the market is also predicted to get affected in a negative manner by the global pandemic in 2020. As per the World Steel Association, the global steel demand is estimated to witness a substantial decrease by 6.4% in 2020, in 2021, the production is expected to partially recover.
Based on type, the market is classified as natural and synthetic, Synthetic graphite is predicted to hold a significant market share in the forecast period. On the basis of application, the market is segregated into lubricants, batteries, writing material, refractory, nuclear reactors, and graphene sheets. Refractory application is estimated to hold a significant market share while the batteries is estimated to be the fastest-growing application in the forecast period. The use of graphite in lithium-ion batteries is burgeoning the market demand. Based on end-user industry, the global graphite market is categorized into automotive, energy & power, steel, electronics, aerospace, and others. Steel, end-user industry is accounted to hold a significant market share in the global total during the forecast period. On the basis of geography, the market is further categorized into North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. The APAC region is predicted to hold the significant market share in the global graphite market during the forecast period.
Growing trend of the adoption of clean technology is burgeoning the market demand with the utilization of graphite in electric vehicles. The growing adoption of EVs is soaring the market demand in the forecast period.
Graphite is used as one of the essential materials in the manufacturing of electric car batteries. It is a highly conductive material for making EV electrodes. It has been observed that synthetic graphite is preferred for the EV batteries due to its higher purity. The product is a byproduct of coal tar or petroleum coke that is baked at 28000 Celsius in an electrically fired furnaces from coal-fired utility plants. The product is, however, more environmentally unpleasant. The lithium-ion battery contains greater amount of graphite (around 40 times) than lithium. Hence, with the increasing demand for electric vehicles round the globe, the market will continue to gain growth in the forecast period. The ban on gas- and diesel-powered cars by the federal governments worldwide are creating a need for the manufacturing of electric cars. In addition to France, other nations are also geared to work on the reduction of environmental impact caused by the automobiles, and thus contributing to reducing the carbon emissions. In the United Kingdom, the government, is focused on the targets set by the Paris convention to make all vehicles zero emission by the end of 2050. Similarly, in Norway, it has been decided by the government that the all the new cars and vans sold after 2025 should be electric vehicles. The developing regions of the world are also poised to work in the EV adoption. For example, China is working on a novel target where around 12% of all the vehicles are expected to be electric by the end of 2020. In India, a policy stating all the vehicles to be sold as electric by the end of 2030 has been established. According to the IEA statistics, the electric car sales in 2019 accounted for around 2.1 million globally and this is projected to exceed by the previous year, further boosting the stock of electric cars to around 7.2 million. The electric cars registered a 40% y-o-y growth during the time period 2018-2019. Additionally, as the technological advancements in the electrification of two and three wheelers, buses, and trucks continues to grow, this is further contributing to the expansion of electric vehicles at a significant pace during the forecast period. The electric vehicle charging infrastructure continued to increase. It was estimated by the IEA that there were around 7.3 million chargers in the world in 2019. Out of these, around 6.5 million chargers were recorded for private, light-duty vehicle slow chargers in houses, and multi-dwelling buildings and workplaces. The prevalence of private charging is attributed to varied supportive policies, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. The support policies include preferential rates, incentives for equipment purchase, and rebates.
Significant collaborations in the graphite industry is further augmenting the market growth during the forecast period.
In 2019, the companies Urbix Resources and Asbury Carbons announced their collaboration where they declared the signing of the letter of intent outlining the interests of both the companies in order to pursue joint venture and other opportunities while in partnership with each other. These include collaboration for purified flake graphite, energy storage graphite grades, graphene, and graphene-like additives. The company, Asbury Carbons acquired 100% ownership in the Urbix Resources’ natural graphite powder milling facility that is situated outside of Hermosillo, Sonora MX. The milling facility at present produces fine microcrystalline graphite powder that are utilized for refractory, steel, and coating applications. Additionally, the two companies expressed similar business interests by signing the letter of intent for highly refined graphite product space. Urbix Resources is poised to provide one of the lowest purification costs worldwide in order to achieve lithium-ion battery grades that amount to less than USD375 per tonne for purification to around 99.95% plus total graphitic content. This will now be produced on the on its novel production site in Arizona. The production unit will be able to process up to 31,000 metric tonnes of high-purity graphene additives on an annual basis. Also, this is poised to be one of the largest facilities worldwide capable of producing graphene additives. The new facility is being constructed through the help of worldwide renowned mining firm that have confirmed the expected cost of refining at the novel facility in Arizona.
Novo Carbon Corporation has announced that it is entering into a collaborative agreement with Versarien Graphene in 2019 for meeting the following objectives. The company, Versarien is poised to qualify the other company as a supply chain partner, the two companies is geared for the development of a strong graphene supply chain with processing in the United States, together the companies is set to work for enabling numerous applications for varied industrial applications. Furthermore, the partnership is aimed towards opportunities that will create a robust market presence along with an improved capability for targeting significant opportunities in technology.
Significant product launches that indicate continuous innovation in the global graphite industry is further propelling the market growth during the forecast period.
The graphite sheet developer, NeoGraf Solutions announced the launch of its thermal management solutions in 2019. The company released a series of thick, and single-layered flexible graphite solutions. The advanced graphite heat spreaders contain the high thermal conductivity of the synthetic graphite and are thicker in comparison to the synthetic commodities. The novel product is designed to meet the demands of modern electronic devices requiring several layers of synthetic graphite in order to function efficiently.
Gratomic Inc. announced the release of first graphene from Gratomic graphite derived product in 2019. The derived product, known as Gratomic graphenes are deduced from the Gratomic graphite from Aukum mine that is situated in Namibia. They are utilized for the manufacturing of graphene-enabled conductive inks and pastes.
Significant contract agreements in the graphite industry is burgeoning the market growth during the forecast period.
Volt resources announced the advancing of the graphite off-take agreements in Tanzania. announced the release of first graphene from Gratomic graphite derived product in 2019. The management team of Volt Resources visited China for discussions related to binding off-take agreements that are in line with the progress of the company in development funding, feasibility study, approvals for development, and contracts related to construction for a project named as Bunyu graphite project in the region of Tanzania. It is an important project of the company. Several meetings took up for commencing the project information exchange, and product samples for discussions related to long-tern supply arrangement. As pert the feedback received, there is a high demand for coarse flake material, above 150-micron size for utilization in the growing graphite market. This is strongly supporting the company’s strategy for maximizing the coarse flake graphite production.
The Westwater resources company announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement (long-term) in 2019 for the procurement of high-purity natural flake graphite concentrate. This is for the company’s planned advanced battery materials processing facility in Alabama for its Coosa graphite project.