The demand for graphite is directly dependent on the growth of its application industries, including refractory, foundry, battery, friction product, and lubricants. The refractory application segment was the largest segment of the graphite market in 2016, owing to high demand from the steel industry.
The use of storage batteries in an increasing number of consumer electronics and the rising adoption of the batteries in electric vehicles is projected to fuel the growth of the utility storage market. The growth of the utility storage industry is expected to lead to an increased production of fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries in the coming years. This is expected to result in the increased demand for graphite, as the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries requires 20 to 30 times the quantity of graphite to that of lithium.
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Based on application, the battery segment is projected to be the fastest-growing application in the graphite market, from 2017 to 2022. The increasing consumption of consumer electronics and growing investments in the storage utility batteries industry across the globe is expected to drive the demand for graphite in the battery segment. Also, the establishment of Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, U.S., is expected to play a key role in driving the demand for graphite in North America in the coming years.
Based on type, natural graphite is the fastest-growing type in the global graphite market. The growing demand for natural graphite from the refractory and foundry application segments is expected to drive the natural graphite segment in the graphite market. Owing to the low cost of natural graphite, key players active in the graphite market are striving to technologically advance natural graphite to surpass the expensive grades of synthetic graphite.
Based on region, the Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing regional graphite market during the forecast period between 2017 and 2022. The extensive manufacturing industry of the Asia-Pacific has been driving the graphite demand in the region. Further, growing investments in the electric vehicle industry is expected to accelerate the demand for graphite in the coming years in the Asia-Pacific.