Changing Landscape of Recycled Metals Industry and Factors Influencing its Growth

The metal recycling industry is set to witness tremendous growth as people around the world increasingly focus on environment preservation and reversing the impact of global warming. Metal recycling is gaining popularity because it can help easing strain on the environment. Furthermore, these repurposed materials can be used for various other purposes.

According to Acumen Research and Consulting, the global recycled metal market size is poised to reach around USD 950 billion by 2026 and growth is estimated to rake at CAGR above 3.8 % over the forecast time frame.

Discussed below are a few of the ongoing trends in recycled metal industry:

Ferrous scrap metal recycling

Ferrous metals are majorly used in vehicle parts such as automobiles, locomotives, construction materials, and ships. In order to cater the increasing demand without causing harm to the exhaustible natural resource, several leading steel and manufacturing companies are adopting ferrous metal recycling. They are using these scrap metals to derive raw materials for production purposes. Investing in recycled metals can significantly reduce carbon emission, air pollution, and consumption of energy and water. Furthermore, recycled metals help several countries reduce their dependence on ferrous metal import, making them self-reliant.

Non-ferrous scrap metal recycling

The scrap metal market is persistently expanding, which is one of the key factors fueling the demand for recycled metals. Several renowned companies are also establishing their processing and recycling facilities across regions offering growth opportunities. Millions of tons of non-ferrous scrap are generated across the world, from foundries, ingot makers, smelters, and refiners. Recycling non-ferrous scrap offers a viable method of managing this mounting waste worldwide. Furthermore, recycling non-ferrous scrap metals can also help these industries mitigate concerns pertaining to the inadequate availability of precious metals such as aluminum, cobalt, nickel, zinc, lead, and others. Interestingly among all these non-ferrous metals, aluminum seems to be the most often recycled one.

Changing Landscape of Recycled Metals Industry

The recycling industry worldwide has been undergoing a tremendous change, particularly on account of the developments witnessed in China over the last couple of years. Following the implementation of the National Sword, even the leading recyclers around the world were facing a difficult time dealing with the novel regulations and trying to match quality requirements required by the government in China, especially with regards to importing scraps. However, the implementation of the novel standard also created opportunities for the potential entry of emerging market players. The overall landscape of the recycled metal industry is therefore on the cusp of a massive transformation, especially with the biggest important of scraps gearing to shut its doors. Besides this, prevailing market trends are causing stir in the metal recycling market, which until now was considered to be one of the most resilient sectors in the overall recycling industry.

Key Players & Strategies

The worldwide recycled metal market is used by players of various dimensions and stocks. Due to the integrated value chain, there is probably high intensity of rivalry between established players. Due to the high fixed costs and big investments made at the original phase exit barriers are high. In turn, this enhances business players ‘ rivalries.

Major Players in the market includes Nucor Corporation, Commercial Metal Company, European Metal Recycling, Aurubis Ag, Steel Dynamics, ELG Haniel Gmbh, Novelis, Sims Metal Management and Schnitzer Steel.

Regional Outlook

In terms of income and quantity, Europe followed Asia Pacific in 2017. During the period of the prediction, this trend shall proceed. Compared to the rest of Europe, the general recycling rates in EU-28 nations for different metals are high. In Europe, domestic and imported scrap is used to contribute to the region’s market share.

In North America, the United States has an important market share. Metal recycling is a well-established local industry. Large proportion of recycled metal demand is made up of automobile, ship-building and industrial machinery end-users. North America is also a leading recycled metal manufacturer.

Source: Acumen Research and Consulting (14.11.2019), Photo: O. Kürth