As with the previous year, the demand for graphite is likely to continue increasing in 2023, due to the lithium ion batteries market and other technologies such as fuel cells and graphene. As the electric vehicle market continues to grow the graphite demand will continue to grow as well. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the electric vehicle and low-carbon energy sectors will demand 25 times more graphite per year by 2040, in comparison to current demands.
Graphite is playing a key role in the energy transition currently happening and so is becoming vital for the modern economy. It has always played a significant role in the automotive industry used in gaskets and brake linings. Today it has become one of the largest components for EV battery anodes. With the world transitioning to a global green drive of natural and renewable energy, graphite will continue to be integral as there are no current substitutes.
Thanks to its unique ability to conduct electricity while dissipating or transferring heat away from important components, graphite is an essential material for electric motors, semiconductors and such electronics applications. Because it is resistant to corrosion as well as being highly conductive, it is the perfect material for safe and efficient performance in electric cars, mobile devices, solar panels, electrodes etc.
Graphite has made itself invaluable in the medical industry as well, with proven biocompatibility. It is used in areas such as orthopaedic prosthetics, mechanical heart valves, cancer treatments, ‘smart’ implants, DIY health-testing kits and targeted drug delivery among others.
Because of its continuously increasing role in key industries graphite prices continue to increase accordingly.
Currently, graphite is the largest component of the energy transition narrative due to its key role in the EV lithium-ion battery market. The graphite market which was valued at around US$ 176 million in 2021 is projected to reach US$ 215 million by 2030.
After the global pandemic in 2020 and the raw materials supply issues it caused there were predictions that the market share would decline. Instead, the demand for graphite increased significantly in 2022 owing to its role in the battery sector with predictions for continuous growth in line with the growth in the EV sector.
Further, graphite has played an increasingly important role in the steel moulding applications, used in casting ware like nozzles and troughs. It is likely that the demand for graphite will continue to grow due to this increased use of steel.
Graphite is the main component in numerous applications from electrodes to refractories and this trend is set to significantly increase overtime. Besides electrodes and refractories it is important for advancements in electric arc furnaces to steel manufacturing technology, among others increasing its driving market growth leading to its current position as a good investment option. Over the period 2021 to 2031 the global graphite market is anticipated to surge at a CAGR of 8.5%, with the overall market expected to significantly expand over the next ten years, increasing the possibility for investment opportunities and returns.
The material has proved itself essential for electric vehicle batteries and market watchers believe the demand for this battery metal will continue to grow, at least for the next decade. While both synthetic and natural graphite are used in anodes of lithium-ion batteries, the energy used to produce synthetic graphite is considered as counter productive to the clean and sustainable energy drive. In 2023 it is projected that graphite and other main battery metals will benefit from the rise of the EV sector. There is an expected increase in the graphite market with notably higher market prices expected next year.
As of the beginning 2023, the industry has shown continuous growth. This upward growth is set to continue over the coming years as the green energy transition continues to gain traction. The current projection is that batteries will be the leading market for graphite which will lead to an increase of new operations for both natural and synthetic graphite. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts that ‘natural graphite anode material supply will grow by 95 percent, with demand increasing by 450 percent in the same period.’ Investments are essential in the near future for the graphite industry to continue producing the required amounts to meet future needs.
The outlook for graphite for the next decade is positive with demand projected to continue growing. Investments will play a crucial role in enabling the industry towards meeting increased demands and to reduce deficit in demand and supply. If you are looking to invest in graphite then now may be ideal as predictions are for consistent growth of the green energy movement. Use online resources to find out about investment opportunities and be part of this dynamic market that has a key role in the current green energy transition.