Graphite demand down 27%

Flake graphite demand slumped 27% in 2012 after reaching highs the year before, according to a new report by Industrial Minerals Data (IMD).

“2012 was a reality check and was reflected in the price deterioration over the year,” said Simon Moores, graphite market specialist and manager of the intelligence company. “Flake graphite lost between 40 and 50% of its value in 2012 alone.”

On the plus side, graphite prices remain 40-70% higher than pre-recession levels.

As weak demand bred weak production, excess supply from the start of the year caused prices to drop. 

“Further deterioration of the global economy throughout the year led to many grades falling to their lowest levels for two years,” said Andy Miller, a junior analyst at IMD.

China had the most to lose as it “relied on shifting volume the most,” explained Moores. The country which previously produced 67% of the world’s graphite now holds 61% of the pie.

Meanwhile, the Asian giant is contributing to the reemergence of fake flake graphite which made up 6% of the country’s product, IMD reports.

Creative Commons image by: Mike Beauregard

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