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Global Graphite Electrode Market Size and Share Analysis 2023-2028
The Global Graphite Electrode Market is projected to witness substantial growth, increasing from USD 9,645 million in 2023 to USD 12,660 million by 2028, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.59% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2028.
Graphite electrodes are commonly manufactured using premium petroleum needle coke, coal tar pitch, and certain additives. These electrodes find widespread applications in steel production and the manufacturing of other non-ferrous metals, achieved through electric arc furnace and ladle furnace routes.
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USD 9.2 billion in 2021
Electrode Grade, Application, and Geography
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The market faced adverse impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, leading to a downturn. However, with the gradual resumption of operations in major end-user industries, significant recovery was observed in 2021.
In the short term, the market is expected to be propelled by robust growth in steel production in emerging countries and the increasing availability of steel scrap in China.
Conversely, the surging prices of needle coke present a potential hindrance to the growth of the studied market.
Furthermore, the expanding adoption of electric arc furnace (EAF) technology for steel production in China is seen as an opportunity that may further drive market growth in the upcoming years.
The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to dominate the market due to strong demand from China, which holds a prominent position in the consumption and production capacity of graphite electrodes on a global scale.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including electrode grade, application, and geography.
Segmentation by Electrode Grade
Ultra High Power (UHP)
High Power (SHP)
Regular Power (RP)
Segmentation by Application
Electric Arc Furnace
Basic Oxygen Furnace
Segmentation by Geography
North America – United States, Canada, Mexico
Europe – United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of Latin America
Middle East and Africa – Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East and Africa
Ultra-high power (UHP) grade electrodes hold the largest revenue share in the electrode grade segment, primarily due to their higher price and significant volume share. UHP Graphite Electrode is a specialized type designed to excel in the electric arc furnace industry, mainly composed of high-value needle coke derived from petroleum or coal tar. These UHP graphite electrodes play a crucial role in the recycling of steel within electric arc furnaces, where they are assembled into electrode columns using an electrode nipple.
Electric arc furnaces (EAF) account for the largest share in the application segment, primarily driven by their extensive demand in the steelmaking process. In an electric arc furnace, steel scrap, DRI (directly reduced iron), HBI (hot briquetted iron), or pig iron in solid form is melted to produce steel. Electricity provides the necessary power to melt the feedstock in the EAF route.
Graphite electrodes are essential components used in the electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking process for melting steel scrap. Due to their ability to withstand high temperatures, these electrodes are made of graphite. In EAF, the electrode’s tip can reach temperatures of 3,000º F, which is half the temperature of the sun’s surface. The sizes of these electrodes vary widely, ranging from 75 mm to as large as 750 mm in diameter and up to 2,800 mm in length. UHP electrodes (usually 350 mm and larger) are commonly used in EAFs of steel mills, while HP and UHP electrodes (typically 400 mm and smaller) find use in iron and steel foundries.
Recent price surges for graphite electrodes have impacted EAF mills’ costs significantly. As of February 16, 2022, the average price of graphite electrodes in China had increased by 5.17% since the beginning of the year and by 44.48% compared to the same period in the previous year.
In China, EAF steel accounts for approximately 10% of the overall market share. However, this is expected to change due to the increasing availability of steel scrap in the country and the government’s supportive policies for its utilization. Consequently, the demand for graphite electrodes used in EAF applications is projected to steadily rise during the forecast period.
Downstream graphite electrode steel plants are currently in a recovery phase, facing insufficient graphite electrode stocks compared to previous years. With the resumption of steel plants, the demand for graphite electrodes is expected to increase.
As per the World Steel Association, the global crude steel production for 63 countries in February 2023 amounted to 142.4 million metric tons (Mt). In the same period, the Middle East produced 3.5 million metric tons of crude steel, reflecting an 11.5% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
These factors are likely to contribute to a rise in the price of graphite electrodes during the forecast period, driven by favorable demand, limited supply, and higher costs.
The Asia Pacific region experiences high demand for graphite electrodes, supported by a large pool of players utilizing these electrodes for steel and non-steel applications. Additionally, the region benefits from abundant raw material availability, further bolstering market growth prospects.
In China, the largest consumer and producer of graphite electrodes globally, more than 40 official graphite electrode producers currently operate, with 30 new entrants adding other refractory products, alongside electrodes, to the market in the past 2-3 years. Moreover, ongoing projects such as Xinyu Steel’s 100-metric-ton EAF project contribute to the country’s increased liquid steelmaking capacity.
Chinese graphite electrode producers are actively seeking quality needle coke through imports or domestic procurement while focusing on technology advancements for quality improvements. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s economic planning body, published a plan in July of the current year to accelerate the development of a low-carbon circular economy in the country’s resource recycling industry. Part of this plan aims to achieve 320 million tons of scrap usage in the steel sector by 2025.
Looking ahead, EAF steel is expected to constitute 40% of global steel output in the next decade, up from 30% in 2020. In China, EAF steel is projected to represent 25% of the country’s total steel output in 2030, compared to around 10% last year, according to Fastmarkets’ steel research team.
Given these factors, the studied market in China is anticipated to experience growth over the forecast period.
GrafTech International holds the distinction of being the world’s largest graphite electrode manufacturer, boasting a substantial total annual production capacity of 230 kilotons of graphite electrodes.
Resonac (formerly known as Showa Denko KK) ranks prominently among the leading manufacturers and suppliers of graphite electrodes on a global scale. The company operates with a robust production capacity of 210 kilotons of graphite per annum.
Key companies profiled in this report include Dan Carbon, EPM Group, Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd., GrafTech International, Graphite India Limited, HEG Limited, Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co., Ltd., Nantong Yangzi Carbon Co. Ltd., Nippon Carbon Co Ltd., Resonac Holdings Corporation, SANGRAF International, SEC CARBON, LIMITED, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., ZHONGZE GROUP.
Recent Industry Developments
In September 2022, HEG Limited made an announcement regarding its graphite electrode capacity expansion in Madhya Pradesh, India. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by December 2022. The total capital expenditure for this expansion, which aims to increase the graphite electrode capacity from 80 kilotons per annum to 100 kilotons per annum, amounted to INR 1,200 crore (equivalent to USD 156.30 million).
In August 2022, HEG Limited revealed another expansion project to augment graphite electrode production capacity from 80,000 tons to 100,000 tons. The company’s goal was to commence commercial graphite electrode production at the newly expanded site by early 2023.
Key Questions Answered
What is the projected size of the Graphite Electrode Market?
The Graphite Electrode Market is expected to reach USD 9,645 million in 2023 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.59%, reaching USD 12,660 million by 2028.
What is the current market size of the Graphite Electrode Market?
As of 2023, the Graphite Electrode Market size is expected to be USD 9,645 million.
Who are the key players in the Graphite Electrode Market?
The major companies operating in the Graphite Electrode Market include GrafTech International, ZHONGZE GROUP, Dan Carbon, Resonac Holdings Corporation, and Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd.
Which region exhibits the highest growth rate in the Graphite Electrode Market?
The Asia-Pacific region is estimated to experience the fastest Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the forecast period (2023-2028).
Which region holds the largest market share in the Graphite Electrode Market?
In 2023, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest share in the Graphite Electrode Market.