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Global demand for flake graphite and artificial graphite is increasing - From China

On July 19th, it was reported that the demand for refractory materials and graphite electrodes for flake graphite and artificial graphite is constantly increasing. It is expected that the demand for flake graphite and artificial graphite in the battery industry will also continue to increase and enter the competitive ranks. The demand for emerging fields will gradually shift from earthy graphite to large-scale or high-purity graphite.

From mid-2011 to early 2012, due to slow economic growth in China and declining demand, the price of flake graphite continued to decline from its peak to half of its peak, with a continuous downward trend. Although the market slightly improved in May 2013, if prices continue to decline, companies developing new graphite projects will face severe challenges and investment opportunities will shrink. In this market situation, the top priority is to accurately locate customers and sign procurement agreements.

With the exploration of a large amount of flake graphite resources by graphite enterprises in Mozambique and Ontario, Canada, the graphite industry has shown new vitality. It is reported that more than 70 graphite projects have been confirmed in countries other than China, with Canada accounting for a quarter of the total, with over 40 graphite projects, most of which are already in the exploration stage. In addition, Australia, Brazil, Sweden and Madagascar have also found new potential resources. It is expected that global graphite production capacity will increase by 200000 tons/year by 2016.

In the total global production of natural graphite, flake graphite accounts for 55%, and earthy graphite accounts for 45%. Driven by the demand in the refractory industry, the proportion of flake graphite will increase by 2016. In addition, the demand for graphite in the battery market is also growing rapidly at a rate of 5-10% per year.

China will continue to play a leading role in the international graphite market. In the long run, due to the increase in labor, environmental protection, and management costs, the export price of graphite from China will rise. However, due to the increase in production and export of value-added products, China's natural graphite export volume will decline. These factors will force demanders to turn to other regions in search of alternative resources.

In addition, the production of artificial graphite will also increase, with graphite electrodes being its largest consumer industry. With the rapid development of global arc furnace steelmaking, the demand for graphite electrodes is increasing, and the consumption of artificial graphite will also increase accordingly.


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