February 12, 2023

Upstream Natural Graphite Market Assessment

Stratas Advisors


Subscribers can access the full report from Stratas Advisors' CleanTech and Battery Supply Chain service.

Not a subscriber? Create an Account.

Global production of natural graphite grew marginally in 2022, though the full-year projection for 2023 anticipates a stronger increase of 4.3% year-on-year. China currently accounts for over a third of the global upstream natural graphite market; however, China has lost significant market share in recent years following the commissioning of large-scale graphite mines elsewhere, especially in Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Australia. Commissioned in 2019, the Balama mine in Mozambique constitutes the single largest natural graphite operation in the world, with owner Syrah Resources providing for over 21% of global supply in 2022. Tanzania’s largest operating asset is located at Lindi, with owner Magnis Energy accounting for over 13% of global production. Aoyu and China Graphite Group currently supply a combined 14.5% of global natural graphite through their operations in Heliongjiang province in Northeastern China, where China Minmetals also operates.
With graphite demand expected to grow exponentially for the production of active anode material, the upstream market shows strong fragmentation in the coming years, with supply strongly shifting away from the historical dominance of China. In fact, natural graphite additions in China are exclusively attributable to the Bayannur greenfield mine in Inner Mongolia. In contrast, Southern Africa is on track to become the world’s leader in natural graphite production absorbing almost half of total volumes produced globally, with Tanzania leading at a market share of 17.2%. While graphite supply may remain tight in the medium term, large-scale projects are expected to reach their full capacity by 2030 and beyond, potentially alleviating supply shortage risks and slightly pushing down upward pricing trends. With over half of global synthetic graphite production currently produced in China, the development of graphite mining projects elsewhere also denotes a growing tendency to boost natural graphite usage, reflecting both cost advantages and ESG/GHG considerations versus its synthetic counterpart. Notably, and unlike most other battery material markets, the graphite industry is expected to be more successful in diversifying away from China; in fact, China’s natural graphite upstream industry sees a significant decline in market share from about 34% in 2022 to roughly 17% by 2030.
This report is part of a series covering all segments of the EV supply chain, and contains strategic insights on growth projections and production trends across major markets and 50+ players, outlining key investments which help shape estimates on annual supply through 2030.
Key takeaways:
  • Global mine production of natural graphite grows at a CAGR of 11.4% over 2022-2030, with growth accelerating in Southern Africa and Australia

  • About 50% of the upstream natural graphite market is currently dominated by four players, with China accounting for over a third of global supply

  • The upstream graphite industry is expected to be the most successful in diversifying away from China, denoting also a growing tendency to boost natural graphite usage versus its synthetic counterpart due to both cost advantages and ESG/GHG considerations

  • The upstream natural graphite market sees a very strong penetration of new entrants, projected to account for almost half of global mined supply by 2030; in contrast, the share of China-owned assets falls by about 17 percentage points

Related Services:

Not a subscriber? Create an Account.



Sign-Up for Email Alerts