After Russia pledged to scale back its military operations around Kyiv and in northern Ukraine, the prices of most industrial metals fell, led by aluminum, showing people's concerns for supply shortage eased.
At an earlier time, the West imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which aroused concerns about the supply problem because Russia is a major producer of nickel, aluminum, and copper.
Russia is also a major gas supplier to Europe, where potential supply disruptions are seen as hitting power-intensive aluminum and zinc production.
"Hopes that Russia and Ukraine will reach an agreement to end the conflict have led to a sudden change in prices," said one metals analyst.
The prices of other commodities like the Synthetic Graphite are still very uncertain.
Synthetic graphite plays a significant role in a few highly specialized industries. Here’s a look at what it is and why investors should know about it.
Synthetic graphite is a unique material often used in metal manufacturing and energy devices such as batteries and solar panels.
Synthetic graphite comprises high-purity carbon and is known for its ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosion. Those characteristics make it an excellent option for highly specialized industries that need predictable results from their carbon materials.
Understanding the difference between synthetic and natural graphite is essential for investors, as industries typically need a specific type of graphite for their applications. Here’s a look at the synthetic graphite market and what it offers.
What is synthetic graphite used for?
Synthetic graphite is used in many applications, including but not limited to friction, foundry, electrical carbons, fuel cell bipolar plates, coatings, electrolytic processes, corrosion products, conductive fillers, rubber and plastic compounds, and drilling applications.
Is synthetic graphite terrible for the environment?
Graphite operations can also lead to pollution because chemicals leak into local waters. According to industry sources, the purifying process, especially in China, is commonly done with acids, often hydrofluoric acid, a highly toxic substance.
Why is synthetic graphite expensive?
Synthetic graphite can be significantly more expensive to produce than natural graphite, as the process is relatively energy-intensive. The cost can be double or triple the standard price for natural graphite.
The outlook for the overall graphite market is positive and is tied to the battery industry and energy storage applications. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence expects to see double-digit growth in the battery sector from 2022 onwards in graphite demand.
Andrew Miller, product director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, has said the firm attributes the growth to “stimulus packages boosting the long-term battery market trajectory, and ongoing commitments from original equipment manufacturers.”
Graphite demand from the lithium-ion battery sector is expected to rise substantially from nearly 200,000 tonnes per year in a 700,000 to 800,000-tonne market to nearly 3 million tonnes a year in a 4 million tonne market by 2030.
Roskill sees growth opportunities for synthetic and natural graphite in the lithium-ion battery market. It expects total graphite demand to rise by about 5 to 6 per cent per year over the next decade.
As a whole, it appears that the future is bright for graphite. However, synthetic graphite will still face somewhat of an uphill battle. Natural graphite is the fastest-growing subset of graphite through 2030 — and improvements in purity are helping natural graphite enter the nuclear technology and high-end battery markets, which synthetics have typically owned. Price will undoubtedly be a determining factor in the competition between natural and synthetic graphite.
Would you invest in synthetic graphite? Why or why not?
High-quality synthetic graphite manufacturer
Luoyang Moon & Star New Energy Technology Co., LTD, founded on October 17, 2008, is a high-tech enterprise committed to developing, producing, processing, selling, and technical services of lithium-ion battery anode materials. After more than ten years of development, the company has gradually developed into a diversified product structure with natural graphite, artificial graphite, composite graphite, intermediate phase and other harmful materials (silicon-carbon materials, etc.). The products are widely used in high-end lithium-ion digital power and energy storage batteries.
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As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to develop, there is growing concern about the potential disruption of Russia's energy supply. Geopolitical premiums have pushed up the price of crude oil and natural gas, and the energy price is expected to remain high in the short term. Affected by this, the market price of the Synthetic Graphite may keep rising.
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