Global needle coke market is anticipated to witness considerable growth over the next seven years owing to growing steel manufacturing industries especially in the Asia Pacific region. Needle coke is useful in the production of graphite electrodes mainly used for steel industry. Superior properties such as low coefficient of thermal expansion, puffing rate and large particle size are anticipated to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Aforementioned properties help in melting scrap metal in the electric arc furnaces used in steel manufacturing units. Increasing demand in steel recycling is presumed to augment market growth over the foreseeable future. Increasing petroleum-based needle coke demand globally is anticipated to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Superior properties such as low electric resistance, coefficient of thermal expansion, less breakage and spalling are expected to propel demand over the next seven years. Surging carbon intermediates demand in steel, aluminium and foundry industries is projected to augment market growth over the forecast period. Growing refinery margins owing to increasing needle coke prices is presumed to hike production capabilities particularly in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil. Manufacturing of needle coke does not require additional utilities except for existing delayed coking (DCC) units. This is expected to further increase overall profitability of refiners and hence facilitate needle coke market growth over the forecast period. Uncertainty in the global crude oil and natural gas markets owing to demand & supply fluctuations is a major restraint for needle coke market growth. Limited global DCC capacities coupled with technological limitations is expected to negatively affect needle coke market growth over the next seven years.
On the basis of products, the market has been categorized as intermediate, premium and super premium grades. Super premium grade has the finest quality followed by premium and intermediate needle coke. Super premium grade finds application in manufacturing ultra-high power graphite electrodes useful in electric arc furnaces in steel and aluminium industry. Superior intrinsic properties of super premium grade such as low ash, sulfur content and coefficient of thermal expansion is as compared to premium grades is expected to augment product demand over the forecast period. Premium needle coke is used for less severe steel making applications as compared to super premium grades.
Asia Pacific market is expected to witness significant growth over the next seven years owing to increasing steel and aluminium manufacturing industries in the region. China is anticipated to be the largest consumer market and is estimated to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to growing steel and aluminium industry in the region. North America is expected to witness above average demand over the foreseeable future owing to technological advancements in the region. U.S. is presumed to be the frontrunner owing to shale boom coupled with growing refinery capacities in the country. Europe is anticipated to witness stagnant growth owing to steady steel industry demand in the region. Germany, France and UK are expected to project considerable growth over the forecast period. Growing graphite electrodes demand in aerospace industry is anticipated to bolster needle coke market growth in countries such as Germany, UK and France. Latin America is expected to witness sluggish demand owing to low downstream needle coke demand in the region.
Global needle coke market is highly consolidated in nature with presence of limited companies across the globe. Key players operating in the global needle coke market include Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Essar Oil Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd. Increasing petroleum coke production to increase refinery margins is expected to be the key strategy followed by industry participants to grow their market presence over the forecast period. Developing effective distribution channels for the needle coke transport to the various graphite electrodes manufacturing units is anticipated to major strategy followed by industry players to increase market penetration over the foreseeable future.
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