In terms of value, the global high purity graphite market was valued at US$ 7,499.6 Mn in 2018 and in terms of volume, the market was 361.1 Kilo Tons (KT) in 2018, and is expected to grow with a significant CAGR during the forecast period. High purity graphite is the most stable form of carbon and is primarily being used in setting the benchmark for defining how carbon compounds are formed during the application of heat. It is primarily being used in aviation, electronic, metallurgy, atomic energy, chemical, mechanical, and nuclear energy, among other fields. The carbon content in high purity graphite is more than 99.99%. Cylinder heads, disk brake linings & pads, gaskets, motors, clutch materials, and exhaust systems, among others, are primarily produced with high purity graphite as the core material. The battery manufacturers use high purity graphite for producing lithium-ion batteries, which is also driving the demand in the global market.
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The major producers of high purity graphite are based in Asia, North America, and Europe, owing to the presence of established petrochemical refineries in these regions. Among these, China is the major producer and provides high purity graphite to its large domestic market and is also leading the international exporter. The nation whose production costs have increased due to increasing labor cost, environmental compliance process, etc., is currently emphasizing on the sale of value-added products, making it better placed than the other geographic regions. The market is highly competitive in terms of pricing. The market is also witnessing high supply pattern and low-demand that are further expected to increase the demand from North American, South East Asian, and European industries.
The key players operating in the global high purity graphite market include GrafTech International, Showa Denko K.K., SGL Group, Graphite India Limited, HEG Limited, Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd., Nippon Carbon Co., Ltd., SEC Carbon, Ltd., Kaifeng Carbon Co., Ltd., and Nantong Yangzi Carbon Co., Ltd., among others. The global high purity graphite market is highly competitive in nature due to the presence of established players. The competition is getting intense due to increasing partnerships and collaborations undertaken by the companies/global players to expand their business and consolidate their market position. Various strategies being implemented by the key players to stay competitive in the market include geographical expansion, production capacity expansions, and M&A. For instance, in October 2016, Showa Denko K.K. has acquired SGL GE Holding GmbH, which engages in graphite electrode business and was a part of the SGL Carbon group based in Germany, for an enterprise value of EUR 350 Mn.