The Global Metal Recycling Market

The rising demand for recycled metals in automotives along with the building and construction sector are driving the purchase interest, says market research and consulting company Reports and Data. The global metal recycling market is forecast to grow at a rate of 7.0 percent – in terms of value – from 2020 to reach 86.11 billion US-Dollar by 2027, according to a new report by the USA-based firm. “An increase in energy savings with decreased greenhouse gas emission levels and increasing consumer awareness regarding it are driving the market for recycled metal”, the report informs.

One of the reasons why the market is growing would be the high demand for steel and rapid industrialization and urbanization in emerging nations. “Moreover, increased concerns towards the exhaustion of natural resources at a faster rate have led governments across the globe to formulate favorable regulations concerning the metal recycling industry, which is further boosting the metal recycling market.” According to the company, also the scarcity of rare-earth metals would provide a growth opportunity for the market.

Further key findings suggest:

  • The demand for ferrous material in metal recycling is growing. The usage of it in several products is high. For instance, in the year 2018, the recycling rates for ferrous scrap in cars was 106 percent, for structural steel 98 percent, for appliances 90 percent, for reinforcement steel 70 percent and for steel cans 66.8 percent.
  • The dominant end-user of the recycled metal was the building and construction industry. It held the largest market share of 35.1 percent in 2019. “The increased ongoing construction activity all across the globe in the past few years and growing conscious of sustainable development has encouraged the segment’s end users to use more recycled metals.”
  • The demand for steel was slow in China in the year 2018, but it corresponded with a rise in the rest of the world, mainly due to the then strong economy in the USA. Increased consumer spending, as well as business confidence, had led to a solid product demand. “This boosted the demand for recycled metals in the North American region.”
  • Manufacturers are witnessing an increase in prices for copper, steel and other raw materials, mainly due to the Coronavirus pandemic. “This is going to make the recycled metal more appealing as the process of recycling is far less expensive than mining for ore.”

Barriers to market growth
Factors that will restrict the global market are the unorganized flow of waste metals and less scrap collection zones, Reports and Data expects. The increasing cost of raw materials would also hinder the demand along with high labor charges. Furthermore, there is the worldwide impact of Covid-19: The global supply of recycled metals fell during the first months of the year 2020 due to the coronavirus. “The demand plummeted in China, and then the rest of the world as the pandemic led to industries and factories shutting down. It also hit a pause button on consumer spending”, the market intelligence and strategic consulting firm gave account. “The infrastructure sector is not expected to witness any growth in the wake of the virus.” The consumers all around the world would face reduced or lost income.

Rapid recovery
According to the estimation, the market is expected to have a rapid recovery after the pandemic. This is possible based on pent-up consumer demand – after stay-at-home orders are rescinded – the company is convinced. But that scenario is not guaranteed as there is an element of recovery involving not only the return of positive household consumer sentiment but also the ability and willingness of governments around the world to inject money into infrastructure and other public works projects.

(GR22020, Page 6, Photo: Diana Betz)