How soon will the graphene revolution begin? How soon is now.
The graphene revolution has the potential to mimic the revolutions of previous decades and centuries; and if it does speculation in emerging companies will be considered prescient and well judged investments. One prominent economist, Norm Poire, who has studied the pattern of market innovations argues that major innovations drive the economy in an almost reglar pattern; 28 years of nascent emerging, followed by 56 years of rapid growth, and then 28 years of deceleration until 112 years after conception the innovation grows in line with population. If graphene follows this pattern it will be repeating the market trajectories of the textiles industry, the railways, automobiles and computers.
With graphene having been discovered in 2004 we are still in the earliest phase of the cycle, much is yet to come and the real price increases are still many years away if this model is accurate. However, as shown later, the stock price chart for CVD Equipment suggests that even the early stages of growth of an investment in graphene promises a fair degree of excitement, if not paroxysms of unexpurgated joy.
Investment opportunities are admittedly limited at present but there is never a better time to invest in a commodity than at the beginning of what promises to be a very long upwards run. Therefore identifying those companies that could benefit from the investment in graphene is certainly a smart move in a very fast paced game. No matter what stage of the production process an initial investment now is highly likely to make a very good return.
Graphene is currently produced from graphite of the highest quality and so investment in graphite producers would be a good place to start looking for a suitable investment opportunity. China controls 80% of the graphene market with a total resource base of 220 million tonnes, with the Czech Republic second place in the global league table with a relatively paltry 13,000 million tonnes, and India third with 3.8 million tonnes of deposits available. Global graphite production has held steady at approximately 1 million tonnes per year for the last decade. Yet, whilst China dominates the global supply of graphite closer analysis of the data reveals that the bulk of China’s trade, some 70% of its total production, is in lower grade graphite used for industrial applications. The disparity between quantity and quality amounts to a widening of choice for any potential investor; any of the major producers are therefore worth considering as well as the more speculative companies that will emerge as graphite prices rise.
Stockpicks for Graphite producers: GrafTech International (NASDAQ: GTI); Northern Graphite Corporation (Canadian company soon to float but not yet trading).
Investing in graphene production is a much more difficult proposition as many of the companies have yet to reach the point of floatation. Investment in private companies requires accreditation and evidence of sufficient income. It is not an option for the everyday trader. Nevertheless there are many companies that are worth watching in anticipation of their shares being made public on the stock exchanges of the world. Angstron Materials is the largest producer of nano graphene platelets although not traded on the stock exchange is one to watch. Vorbeck Materials is also a key company focused graphene production, and with an annual production capability scaled in tonnes it is one that is already performing well in the marketplace. The very first innovator of graphene ink for the printed electronics industry Vorbeck grew out of Princeton University and currently welcomes development partnerships.
The vast majority of opportunities lie in the research and development arena, although, once again, these are still mostly private companies that can only receive private investments from accredited investors. However, major player like IBM China Carbon Graphite Group Inc. (CHGI: OB) and CVD Equipment Corporation are openly investing in research and development of products and are traded openly on the stock exchange. The stock price chart for CVD Equipment shows just how rapid the growth can be.