Graphite – The only way is up
Published: Thursday, 15 December 2016
Temperature-resistant, unusually stable and unreactive, graphite is a key ingredient in refractories, lubricants, batteries, flame retardants and pencils. But oversupply has dragged the mineral’s value down to record lows and only controls on Chinese production complemented by a surge in demand from new applications can reverse its fortunes.
The northern hemisphere winter used to be the favourite time
of year for graphite suppliers. Chinese mines would close,
meaning that supply would be short and prices for the mineral
would increase. Today, however, surplus production means that
the market no longer has to brace itself for
shortages."We’ve been waiting...