Surging Steel Production Fueling Global Demand for Graphite

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Surging Steel Production Fueling Global Demand for Graphite

Posted By Aryan Kumar     Jun 3    

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The increasing production of steel, due to the mushrooming requirement for steel products in end-use industries such as automotive, residential, construction, and oil & gas, is fueling the global demand for graphite. As per the World Steel Association, the worldwide crude steel production increased from 1,814 million tons in 2018 to 1,869 million tons in 2019. Graphite exhibits high corrosion resistance and excellent strength and durability at extreme temperatures.

This is why it is extensively used in steel production. Besides, the ballooning demand for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, on account of the increasing electric vehicle deployment, is also propelling the sales of graphite across the world. Each lithium-ion battery needs 10–20 times more graphite than lithium, as the greater the quantity of graphite, the more will be the battery’s capacity to intercalate lithium. Moreover, graphite is majorly used as an anode in the Li-ion batteries.

As natural graphite is cheaper than synthetic graphite and lithium titanate, the mushrooming sales of Li-ion batteries are driving the worldwide demand for graphite. This is, in turn, causing the expansion of the global graphite market. As a result, the revenue of the market is predicted to rise from $19,092.9 million in 2019 to $36,889.1 million by 2030. Furthermore, the market is predicted to advance at a CAGR of 7.4% from 2020 to 2030.

Depending on application, the market is divided into refractories, electrodes, foundries, lubricants, batteries, graphite shapes, and friction products categories. Out of these, the electrodes category dominated the graphite market in 2019. This was because graphite electrodes were used extensively in electric arc furnaces, as they were the primary heating elements. These furnaces were used during steel manufacturing, where scrap from old appliances or vehicles is melted for producing crude steel.

Additionally, graphite electrodes have various beneficial traits such as the ability to withstand extremely high levels of heat and high electrical conductivity and are thus, extensively used in the steel manufacturing process. When end-use industry is taken into consideration, the graphite market is classified into automotive, metallurgy, and electronics categories. Out of these, the automotive category is predicted to hold the largest share in the market in the upcoming years.

This will be because of the rising requirement for lithium-ion batteries, on account of the soaring popularity of electro-mobility all over the world. As graphite is heavily used as an anode material in these batteries, the surging demand for these batteries is fueling the expansion of this category. Geographically, the graphite market will boom in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the forthcoming years, as per the estimates of the market research company, P&S Intelligence.

Hence, it is safe to say that the demand for graphite will shoot up in the forthcoming years, primarily because of its increasing usage in the steel production process and Li-ion batteries and the mushrooming production of steel and the ballooning sales of Li-ion batteries, on account of the growing deployment of electric vehicles, across the world.

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