Market for Synthetic Graphite Recovers from COVID-19 Shocks

A recent report has revealed that the global market for synthetic graphite is poised to experience substantial growth over the next five years. The “Synthetic Graphite Market Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 – 2028)” report predicted that the worldwide market for this commodity will grow from an approximate value of $2.99 billion this year to $4.16 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 6.83%.

The market has effectively rebounded from the shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and experts predict it will maintain its expansion in the near future. According to the report, growth in the market was partly due to extremely high synthetic graphite purity levels coupled with increased demand for EVs. Synthetic graphite is a key component in electric vehicle batteries and, like many other green-transition metals, is poised to see explosive demand as global electric vehicle demand accelerates.

In the United States alone, the Biden administration has invested tens of millions of dollars into researching and developing local graphite supplies to support the nation’s nascent battery electric vehicle industry. However, tight environmental regulations as well as higher synthetic graphite costs compared to natural graphite are an obstacle to the synthetic graphite market’s growth.

The Asia-Pacific zone, specifically Japan, China and India, is the largest synthetic graphite consumer on the globe. China is also the top synthetic graphite producer on the globe, refining more than 90% of the world’s graphite. The Asian nation has steadily reduced natural graphite production and ramped up synthetic graphite production to account for around 70% of its synthetic graphite production.

China’s dominance in the graphite supply chain has worried many pundits who say it grants the country the ability to significantly disrupt supply chains by curbing exports. The nation curbed graphite exports in October and noted that some graphite products would need export permits from Dec. 1, 2023.

With tensions between China and Western nations escalating in recent months amid a bitter trade dispute between the Asian nation and the U.S., many in the west aren’t entirely comfortable with relying on China for metals that are critical to the global energy transition.

Chinese export bans have led to significant investment in alternative graphite sources as players further down the chain scramble to fortify their supply chains before mass electric vehicle adoption begins. As developments in EV battery manufacture make batteries cheaper and more energy dense, lowering the cost of EV production and making electric cars more affordable, we can expect demand for synthetic graphite to remain high.

With the prices of synthetic graphite still out of reach for many end-use applications, producers of natural graphite such as Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) have a role to play to keep the demand for graphite adequately supplied while better ways to make synthetic graphite affordable are explored.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RFLXF

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