Graphite electrode (GE) is an essential component of steel production through the electric arc furnace (EAF) method. After five years of downcycle, the demand for graphite electrode started emerging in 2016 with the increased production of steel through the EAF method. The penetration of EAF-based steel production is expected to be stable in the foreseen future, because of high awareness of the developed economies towards environmentally friendly technologies. The role of China and India in the production of EAF steel is going to be consequential in the coming years as the current penetration of EAF steel production in both countries are lower than the developed countries but will rise at a greater pace in the coming years. This will imprint a significant upward trend in the demand for graphite electrodes in the coming five years.
The market’s supply chain is extremely dynamic with a tight supply of raw materials (petroleum needle coke) as well as graphite electrode coupled with the consistent increase in EAF steel production. The preference of lithium-ion battery in the increasing production of electric vehicles further takes the supply crunch to the next level. Petroleum needle coke is an essential raw material to produce lithium-ion battery. In addition, no substitute of graphite electrode in the production of EAF steel, makes the material a strategic resource rather than mere a commodity.
As per Stratview Research, the market for graphite electrode in the global metal industry is projected to grow at a healthy rate over the next five years to reach US$ 15.3 billion in 2024. Steady increase in steel production through the EAF method, no substitute of graphite electrode in EAF steel production, and supply crunch owing to the limited production capacity of needle coke and graphite electrode are some of the factors propelling the demand for graphite electrodes in the metal industry.
Based on the product type, the market is segmented as ultra-high power (UHP), high power (HP), and regular power (RP). UHP is expected to remain the most dominant as well as the fastest-growing electrode type during the forecast period. Higher durability, higher thermal resistance, and superior quality are some of the properties that are propelling the demand for UHP graphite electrode, especially in the steel industry. All the major global players are primarily into the manufacturing of UHP graphite electrodes.
Based on the application type, steel manufacturing is currently dominating the graphite electrode market and is expected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. There has been a continuous increase in the production of EAF steel worldwide, which is the prime driver of the demand for graphite electrodes. For instance; in China, the share of steel production through EAF increased from 6% in 2016 to 9% in 2017 (still below the global average of 46%, excluding China). The government of China has set a target of achieving 20% steel production through EAF by 2020.
Post time: Apr-14-2020