Within five years, synthetic graphite is projected to account for almost 70 percent of the global graphite market in terms of demand, a similar share to that expected for 2018, according to CW Research’s 2018 update of the World Natural and Synthetic Graphite Market Demand Forecast Report.
“Natural graphite is anticipated to experience a more solid annual average growth in the 2018-2023 period than in the previous five-year period mostly due to the forecast increased usage of the material for the electrical vehicle sector in China. It is true that the purity and carbon content of natural graphite are expected to be easier to enhance at a smaller cost than currently. However, synthetic graphite will see a faster pace due to the normalization of specialty end usages such as graphene manufacturing and carbon fiber”, notes Raluca Cercel, Associate at CW Group.
Synthetic graphite market value driven by premium cost
The synthetic graphite market is likely to record the fastest-paced growth as compared to natural graphite due to the superior quality of the material in terms of purity, and in spite of its cost, which can be triple that of the latter.
It is, thus, unsurprising that the synthetic graphite market size in USD is much larger than that of natural graphite both due to the premium cost and growing usage of the material as opposed to natural graphite.
In CAGR terms, the market size in USD for synthetic graphite improved by over 20 percent as opposed to the 10 percent growth of the natural graphite segment.
Batteries sector to lead end-user industries
In 2018, the electrodes manufacturing industry is the largest graphite consumer, with a 40 percent share of the market, followed by the refractories, foundries and crucibles with a 30 percent market share, and the batteries and energy storage sector with a 14 percent share of global graphite consumption.
End-user segments such as lubricants, recarburizers, friction products and others compete for a slimmer slice of the global graphite market.
By 2023, we anticipate that the batteries sector will eat up the market shares of more traditional graphite end-users, following a projected threefold increase of graphite consumption by this particular sector as compared to 2018.
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