The global needle coke market size was valued at USD 4.15 billion in 2021, and it is anticipated to reach USD 7.52 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 6.83%. The production of graphite electrodes from arc furnaces in the steel and aluminium industries typically relies heavily on using needle coke as their primary source of the raw element graphite. Needle coke is a specialist grade of carbon raw material produced from coal tar pitch, ethylene tar pitch, refined solvent coal, low-sulphur vacuum leftovers, or petroleum fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) decant oil. These are the sources of needle coke. It is a unique variety of coke that possesses superior qualities such as structural characteristics, high-temperature resistance, high electrical resistance, oxidizability, and coefficient of thermal expansion. These are just some of the qualities that it possesses (CTE). It is estimated that the cost of needle coke accounts for more than 40 per cent of the total raw substance costs in producing graphite electrodes.
Needle coke is sometimes referred to by its alternate name, acicular coke. It is a particularly crystalline variety of petroleum coke used to produce electrodes for the aluminium and steel industries. Because electrodes need to be replaced regularly, needle coke is a valuable commodity.
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Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are seeing an increase in demand as the market for electric and hybrid vehicles continues to grow. To minimize carbon emissions, regulatory agencies like the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are taking steps to increase the adoption of hybrid-electric cars, which is predicted to result in a quick transition toward more environmentally friendly fuels and energy sources that will drive market revenue growth. An executive order was issued in the United States on December 8, 2021, directing the federal government to acquire 100 per cent Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. The order also specifies that the government should acquire 100 per cent Zero-Emission Light-Duty Vehicles by 2027. It was done to promote a clean energy economy. In a similar vein, on October 8 2021, the Indian government announced steps to increase the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to make up 30 per cent of private cars, 80 per cent for two-and three-wheelers, and 70 per cent of commercial vehicles by 2030, for decarburization in the transport sector.
The market is anticipated to expand due to the growing demand for graphite electrodes and the increase in trade for the product. It will be followed by the expanding demand for needle coke among the steel and aluminium manufacturing industries, which is supported by the surge in demand for steel and aluminium. According to the data provided by the World Steel Association, the quantity of crude steel produced around the globe went from 189 million tons in 1950 to 1878 million tons in 2020. It is significant growth. In addition, several chances for market expansion are anticipated to materialize in the years ahead as a direct result of the growing emphasis placed on the environmentally responsible manufacture of steel and the spike in demand for recycled steel scraps.
Due to supply-and-demand swings, natural gas and crude oil prices are expected to fluctuate worldwide. The possible scarcity of petroleum-derived needle coke, a byproduct of petroleum refining, could slow revenue development. In addition, removing a sizeable amount of the ash content in the decant oil necessitates filtration equipment, which drives up the price of needle coke even further.
The changes brought about in the business environment as a result of the rapid evolution of technology will benefit the growth of the needle coke market. The rate of the market's expansion will also be slowed by the expanding quantity of research and development activities.
In addition, an increase in strategic collaborations and the development of new marketplaces will serve as market drivers, resulting in an increased industry growth rate.
The global market for needle coke is divided into five parts based on product type, grades, application, end-use and region. Further, the market is divided into two types based on the type of product: coal-based and petroleum-based. In 2021, the petroleum-based segment made up a higher portion of the total sales. The demand is driven by an increase in the manufacturing of synthetic graphite electrodes for Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) in the steel sector and lithium-ion battery anode material.
According to grades, the market is broken down into premium, intermediate, and super-premium. In 2021, the super-premium grade segment accounted for the most revenue share. There has been an increase in the use of super-premium needle coke in steel recycling because of its low sulphur content and outstanding features such as low puffing rate and low coefficient of expansion that allow a 5 per cent increase in productivity.
The market is broken down into silicon metal and ferroalloys, rubber compounds, lithium-ion anode, graphite electrodes, carbon black, and others based on application. In 2021, the graphite electrodes category accounted for the industry's most significant revenue share. The excellent thermal conductivity and heat resistance of graphite are only a few of its many unique characteristics. Heating elements for electric arc furnace use must withstand extreme conditions such as high-temperature atmospheres, which necessitates low thermal expansion coefficients.
The market is divided into semiconductors, aerospace & defence, aluminium and steel industry, automotive, and others according to end-use. The semiconductors segment held the largest market share in 2021. Due to the improved durability, corrosion resistance and capacity to tolerate extreme temperatures driving demand for steel and pushing demand for needle coke. Steel and needle coke are both in high demand.
The automobile industry's demand for needle coke is predicted to expand dramatically in the next few years. Because of its superior electrical conductivity and longer cycle life, needle coke is commonly utilized as a raw material in the fabrication of lithium-ion anodes.
The market is broken down into Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America & the Middle East & Africa. The Asia-Pacific segment accounted for the largest market share in 2021.
The market is broken down into Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America & the Middle East & Africa.
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In 2021, the Asia-Pacific needle coke market was the most significant contributor to the global market. Aluminium is increasingly in demand for various vehicle components and parts as the automotive industry grows and the steel industry expands rapidly in the countries in the region. Steel is widely used in construction because of its durability, ductility, strength, and resilience. Production is increasing throughout the Asia-Pacific to meet the growing demand for this material. Increasing needle coke use in China is projected to boost the market growth further.
China's economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization have contributed to a considerable increase in steel production in China. Expenditures on construction, machinery, and infrastructure will drive industrial growth shortly. Graphite electrodes for steelmaking are made using needle coke. Over half of all semiconductors are consumed in Asia-Pacific, thanks to the region's status as a central electronics hub and the rapidly increasing automobile industry. The needle coke market in Asia-Pacific is predicted to rise due to these other factors.
Many North American end-use industries are predicted to grow rapidly by 2021, giving the North American market a considerable revenue share. Market revenue growth will be supported by rising demand for electric vehicles, steel, and metals in construction. Cleaner fuel technology may lead to a broader range of potential precursors for needle cokes, which is expected to assist the needle coke market in North America's revenue growth throughout the forecast period.