Needle coke is a high-quality variety that has vigorously developed in carbon materials. Its appearance is a silver-gray, metallic luster porous solid; its structure has a clear flowing texture, the pores are large but few and slightly oval, and the particles have a considerable length. It is usually used as a raw material for the production of carbon materials such as high-power electrodes and ultra-high-power electrodes.
The global needle coke market has the potential to grow with USD 10.2 billion with historical CAGR in the forecast period from 2020-2027. Due to the large-scale growth of electric furnace steelmaking in the world and the accelerated growth of electric car production is fueling the market demand for needle coke.
Additionally, the newly built electric furnace steel plant, which directly led to the explosion of the graphite electrode market have sharply pulled the demand for needle coke in the global market.
Needle coke is widely used in the electric furnace steelmaking industry as it possesses unique performance characteristics. In recent years, with the progress of society and technological innovation, the energy-saving and efficient electronic furnace steelmaking technology has also developed rapidly. The use of ultra-high-power graphite electrodes in the electric furnace steelmaking process has increased year by year are fueling the market growth of the global needle coke market.
Furthermore, the needle coke currently produced can be divided into lithium battery negative electrode field, graphite electrode field, and other fields according to different application fields. From the perspective of market segmentation, lithium battery anodes, and graphite electrodes are the main application markets for needle coke.
The needle coke divided into two types of oil systems and coal systems, and their production methods are somewhat different. The difference in the production process of coal-based needle coke and oil-based needle coke mainly lies in the raw material pretreatment. The main component of the coal tar pitch is aromatic hydrocarbons, but it contains a certain amount of quinoline insoluble.
Moreover, with rising environmental protection regulations and supply-side reforms, the growth rate of electric furnace steelmaking has accelerated. Thus, driving the demand for needle coke for ultra-high power and high-power graphite electrodes, and the need for artificial graphite anodes for lithium-ion power batteries in recent years has also emerged.
The carbon industry will rely more and more on needle coke. Needle coke resources are very scarce and as high-quality material for manufacturing high-power and ultra-high-power electrodes. Graphite electrodes made from needle coke have strong thermal shock resistance, high mechanical strength, excellent oxidation performance, low electrode consumption, and considerable allowable current density advantage.
Needle coke is one of the artificial graphite. It has a low thermal expansion coefficient, low porosity, low sulfur, little ash, low metal content, high conductivity, and easy graphitization. The graphitized products have excellent chemical stability, corrosion resistance, high thermal conductivity, good mechanical strength at low and high temperatures. They are mainly used to produce high-power (HP) and ultra-high-power (UHP) graphite electrodes and special carbons for electric furnace steelmaking.
Based on the grade, the global needle coke market categorized into Super-premium, Premium-grade, Intermediate-grade. The super-premium segment accounted for the largest share in the global needle coke market. Super-premium grade has intensified properties such as low sulfur content, little ash, and deceitful of thermal expansion is likely to bolster the market demand of premium grade. Needle coke with a super-premium degree also possesses a low puffing rate, and large particle size, which helps in increasing higher productivity in steel recycling operations. Additionally, Needle coke has a series of advantages such as low thermal expansion coefficient, low impurity content, high conductivity, and easy graphitization. They are mainly used to produce high-power (HP) and ultra-high-power (UHP) graphite electrodes, as well as lithium battery anode materials.
Moreover, UHP graphite electrodes have the characteristics of excellent performance, high mechanical strength, strong resistance to oxidation and corrosion at high temperatures, and widely used in smelting various alloy steels. Thus, it increases the market share for the global needle coke market in the forecast period from 2020-2027.
Based on the application, the global needle coke market classified into Electrode, Silicon metals & ferroalloys, Carbon black, Rubber compounds, Others. The electrode segment has dominated the largest share in the global needle coke market. It is mainly owing to the graphite electrode made of needle coke has the advantages of strong thermal shock resistance, high mechanical strength, excellent oxidation performance, low electrode consumption, and large allowable current density. Needle coke generally used as an electrode material for electric furnace steelmaking in the process of dissolving and refining scrap iron. Moreover, its application in electrodes can also use in lithium-ion batteries, electrochemical capacitors, nuclear graphite, and other aspects. Therefore, the electrode is fueling the market demand for the global needle coke market.
Based on geography, the global needle coke market segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. North America region is dominating the global needle coke market. It is mainly owing to the emerging steel producing companies and adoption of technology in furnaces that are bolstering electric-arc furnace that is propelling the market demand for mills. Moreover, Asia Pacific will lead the market demand in the forecast period for the needle coke market. It is due to emerging opportunities for graphite manufacturers are rising, and increasing domestic productions are fueling the market demand for needle coke in the Asia Pacific region.
Companies such as Phillips 66, Asbury Carbon Inc., Seadrift Coke LP, Sumitomo Chemical Company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Indian Oil Corporation Limited, and others are key players in the global needle coke market.