The market for graphite electrode is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.46% during the forecast

The market for graphite electrode is anticipated to register a CAGR of 4.46% during the forecast

Graphite electrode for EAF smelting

The primary raw material used for the production of graphite electrode is needle coke (either petroleum-based or coal-based). - Rising production of iron and steel in emerging countries, and rising availability of steel scrap in China, thereby increasing the usage of electric arc furnaces, are expected to drive the demand for the market, during the forecast period.
- Soaring prices of needle coke, resulting in supply tightness, among other restraints, such as limited growth of UHP graphite electrode in China and consolidation of graphite electrode industry, are likely to hinder the market growth.
- Rising production of steel through electric arc furnace technology in China is expected to act as an opportunity for the market in the future.

Key Market Trends
Increasing Production of Steel through Electric Arc Furnace Technology

- Electric arc furnace takes steel scrap, DRI, HBI (hot briquetted iron, which is compacted DRI), or pig iron in solid form, and melts them to produce steel. In the EAF route, electricity provides power to melt the feedstock.
- Graphite electrode is primarily used in the electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking process, to melt steel scrap. Electrodes are made of graphite, due to its ability to withstand high temperatures. In EAF, the tip of the electrode can reach 3,000º Fahrenheit, which is half the temperature of the surface of sun. The size of electrodes varies widely, from 75mm to as large as 750mm in diameter, and up to 2,800mm in length.
- The price surge of graphite electrodes pushed up EAF mills’ costs. An average EAF is estimated to consume approximately 1.7 kg of graphite electrodes to produce one metric ton of steel. The prices of graphite electrodes have witnessed growth by more than 700% from 2017, in China.
- The price surge is attributed to industry consolidation, globally, capacity shutdown in China, following environmental regulation, and the growth of EAF production, globally. This is estimated to increase the production cost of EAF by 1-5%, depending on mill’s procurement practices, which is likely to restrict steel production, as there is no substitute for graphite electrode in EAF operations.
- Additionally, China’s policies to tackle air pollution have been reinforced by strong supply curbs for not only the steel sector, but also coal, zinc, and other sectors that generate particulate pollution. As a result, the Chinese steel production has drastically declined over the past years. However, this is expected to have a positive impact on steel prices and steel mills in the region, allowing them to enjoy better margins.
- The aforementioned factors are expected to drive the market, during the forecast period.

Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market

- The Asia-Pacific region dominated the market share in 2018. China occupies the largest share, in terms of the consumption and production capacity of graphite electrodes in the global scenario. China has produced nearly 520 thousand metric ton of graphite electrode, nearly 62% of which was utilized for domestic consumption purposes. The production and demand for graphite electrodes in China witnessed stable growth till 2015.
- The production of graphite electrodes witnessed a dip in 2015, due to the closure of nearly 140 million metric ton capacity of induction arc furnaces and mini blast furnaces, as a result of the government regulations on high polluting industries conceived to tackle the issue of environmental concerns.
- The growing production of motor vehicles, along with the expanding residential construction industry, is expected to support the domestic demand for non-ferrous alloys, and iron and steel, which is a positive factor for the growth of the graphite electrode demand in the coming years. The current production capacity of UHP graphite electrodes in China is around 50 thousand metric ton per year. The demand for UHP electrodes in China is also expected to witness significant growth in the long-term, and an additional capacity of over 50 thousand metric ton of UHP graphite electrodes is anticipated to be witnessed by the later phases of the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape
The graphite electrode market is consolidated in nature. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. Key players in the graphite electrode market include ,Fangda Carbon New Material Technology Co. Ltd, HEG Limited, Aohui Carbon Co. Ltd, Kaifeng Carbon Co. Ltd, and others.

Post time: Jun-17-2020