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  • Published In : Nov 2023
  • Code : CMI6147
  • Pages :140
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

Global recycled metal market is expected to be valued at US$ 54.48 Bn in 2023, and is projected to reach US$ 96.44 Bn by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.5% from 2023 to 2030.

The market growth is attributed to increasing demand for recycled metals from multiple sectors such as construction, packaging, automotive, industrial machinery, electronics, and electrical equipment.

Global recycled metal market refers to the industry involved in collecting, processing, and selling metals that have been recovered from various sources such as discarded products, scrap materials, and waste. Recycling metals offers several benefits including reducing demand for virgin raw materials, conserving energy, and minimizing environmental impacts associated with mining and metal production.

Global Recycled Metal Market- Regional Insights

  • North America is the largest market for recycled metal, accounting for a share of over 30% in 2023. The high recycling rate in the region, coupled with growing demand for recycled metal from the automotive, construction, and electrical & electronics industries is driving the market growth.
  • Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for recycled metal, with a CAGR of over 15% during the forecast period. The rapid industrialization and urbanization in the region leads to increased demand for recycled metal from the construction, automotive, and electronics industries.
  • Europe is the third largest market for recycled metal, accounting for a share of over 25% in 2023. The stringent environmental regulations in the region boosts demand for recycled metal as a substitute for virgin metal.

Figure 1. Global Recycled Metal Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Global Recycled Metal Market- Drivers

  • Environmental Awareness and Regulations: Increasing concerns about environmental sustainability and the carbon footprint of industries boosts demand for recycled metals. In order to lessen their influence on the environment, industries are encouraged to employ recycled metals by stricter laws on emissions and trash disposal. For instance, on October 17,2022, The U.S.’ sustainability plan includes a host of ambitious goals to reduce the federal government’s carbon footprint, including transitioning to 100 percent carbon-pollution free electricity by 2030, 100%zero-emissions vehicle acquisitions by 2035, net-zero emissions by 2050, and others.
  • Resource Scarcity: The depletion of natural resources, especially non-renewable metals, prompt industries to turn to recycled metals as an alternative source. Recycled metals help to conserve raw materials and reduce the pressure on mining operations.
  • Energy Savings: Recycling metals requires significantly less energy as compared to primary metal production. As energy costs increases, and companies aim to minimize their energy consumption, the energy efficiency of using recycled metals becomes an attractive proposition. For instance, on December 2,2022, Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) Federal Agency Call Funding Recipients and this project predicts electricity savings of 6.2%, natural gas savings of 8%, and energy cost savings of 26.5%, alongside anticipated annual operations and maintenance (O&M) savings of US$ 100,000.
  • Cost Savings: Using recycled metals can often be more cost-effective than extracting and refining metals from ores. This is particularly true when metal prices are high or volatile, making recycled metals a stable and budget-friendly option.

Global Recycled Metal Market- Opportunities

  • Growing Demand for Sustainable Products: As consumers become more environmentally conscious, there is rising demand for products made from recycled materials, including metals. Companies that incorporate recycled metals into their products can tap into this growing market and differentiate themselves as environmentally responsible brands.
  • Circular Economy Initiatives: Governments, industries, and organizations are increasingly embracing the concept of the circular economy that emphasizes the reuse, recycling, and repurposing of materials. This creates opportunities for businesses that can efficiently recover and supply recycled metals to support circular supply chains.
  • Innovative Recycling Technologies: Advances in recycling technologies, such as improved sorting methods and more efficient extraction processes, present opportunities for businesses to enhance their recycling capabilities. Investing in these technologies can lead to higher recovery rates and better-quality recycled metals.
  • E-Waste Recycling: The proliferation of electronic devices has led to significant amount of electronic waste (e-waste). Recovering valuable metals from discarded electronics offers substantial opportunities for recycling companies to extract metals like gold, silver, and rare earth elements.

Global Recycled Metal Market- Trends

  • Digitalization and Data Analytics: Recycling operations are adopting digital technologies and data analytics to optimize processes, improve material recovery rates, and enhance overall operational efficiency. Smart sorting systems, real-time monitoring, and predictive analytics help to streamline recycling operations.
  • Advanced Recycling Technologies: Innovations in metallurgical processes, such as hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical methods, are enabling more efficient extraction of metals from complex waste streams. These technologies enhance the recovery of valuable metals from products like electronics, batteries, and industrial waste.
  • E-Waste Management: The escalating volume of electronic waste (e-waste) has led to specialized e-waste recycling facilities. As electronics become more integrated into daily life, the recycling of e-waste for valuable metals like gold, silver, and rare earth elements becomes increasingly important.
  • Green Building Materials: The construction industry prefer to use recycled metals for green building Recycled metals offer environmental benefits by reducing the need for virgin resources, and contributing to sustainable construction practices.

Global Recycled Metal Market- Restraints

  • Contamination and Quality Issues: Recycled metals often face challenges related to contamination that can affect the quality and suitability of the materials for various applications. Contaminants introduced during the collection and sorting process can limit the usability of recycled metals, especially in industries that require high-purity materials.
  • Lack of Infrastructure: In some regions, there may be inadequate recycling infrastructure including collection, sorting, and processing facilities to effectively manage the volume of discarded products and waste. Insufficient infrastructure can hinder the efficient recovery of metals from waste streams.
  • Technological Limitations: While there are advancements in recycling technologies, some materials remain difficult to recycle economically and effectively. Complex and composite materials can pose challenges in terms of separation and recovery methods.
  • Inconsistent Supply: The availability of recyclable materials can be inconsistent, leading to supply volatility. Factors such as consumer behavior, economic conditions, and waste management practices can affect the volume and composition of recycled metal feedstocks.
  • Counterbalance: Governments worldwide are implementing regulations to promote recycling and reduce waste, providing a boost to the recycled metal market and innovations in recycling technology have made the process more efficient and cost-effective, further driving the market growth.

Global Recycled Metal Market- COVID-19 Impact

  • The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impact on the global recycled metal market. The pandemic caused disruptions in the supply chain, reduced demand for recycled metals, and led to a decline in prices.
  • One of the major impacts of the pandemic on the recycled metal market was the disruption in the supply chain. The lockdowns and restrictions on movement imposed by governments around the world led to slowdown in the collection and processing of scrap metal. This led to a shortage of raw materials for the production of recycled metal.
  • Another impact of the pandemic was reduced demand for recycled metals. The economic slowdown caused by the pandemic led to decline in demand for metals across various industries, including construction, automotive, and aerospace. This reduced demand led to decline in prices for recycled metals.

Recycled Metal Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 54.48 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 8.5% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 96.44 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Type of Metal: Ferrous Metals and Non-Ferrous Metals
  • By End-use Industry: Construction, Automotive, Electronics, Packaging, Energy, Manufacturing, Aerospace, and Jewelry and Art
  • By Source of Material: Post-Consumer Scrap, Industrial Scrap, Construction Scrap, and Obsolete Electronics
  • By Recycling Process: Shredding and Melting, Electrolysis, Smelting, and Hydrometallurgical Processes
Companies covered:

Sims Metal Management Ltd., Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Nucor Corporation, European Metal Recycling Ltd., Kuusakoski Group, Novelis Inc., OmniSource Corporation, Ferrous Processing & Trading Co. (FTP), Metal Management Inc., ELG Haniel Group

Growth Drivers:
  • Environmental Awareness and Regulations
  • Resource Scarcity
  • Energy Savings
  • Cost Savings
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Contamination and Quality Issues
  • Lack of Infrastructure
  • Technological Limitations
  • Inconsistent Supply

Global Recycled Metal Market- Analyst Viewpoint

  • Global recycled metal market is expected to witness growth in the near future. The market is primarily driven by increasing need for sustainability and reducing carbon footprint worldwide. Stringent environmental regulations regarding reuse and recycling of scrap metals is another major growth driver. However, availability of scrap in stable supply and fluctuations in scrap prices pose a challenge to the market.
  • North America region currently dominates the global recycled metal market, owing to stringent laws and mature recycling infrastructure. Europe is also a prominent region due to focus on circular economy. However, Asia Pacific region is expected to offer most opportunities owing to rising industrialization and urbanization. Countries like China, India and Japan are foreseen to boost the demand for recycled metal.
  • Recycled aluminum is projected to be the fastest growing segment as it has excellent recyclability without loss of properties. Reuse of aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce virgin aluminum. Recycled steel will remain the dominant segment considering its widespread end-use in construction and automobile industry. Copper and zinc are other lucrative segments driven by need for sustainability in electronic and packaging industries.

Global Recycled Metal Market- Recent Developments

New Product Launches

  • On 20 August 2022, Commercial Metals Company (CMC) launched RebarZero, a carbon neutral rebar product made from 100% recycled steel. RebarZero is the first of its kind in the world, and is a major step forward in the fight against climate change. It is made from recycled steel that has been melted and processed without emitting any greenhouse gases. This makes RebarZero a much more sustainable option than traditional rebar, which is made from virgin steel that requires a significant amount of energy to produce.
  • On 22May 2023, the first marketplace for verified recycled metals was introduced by Orbex. A global marketplace called Orbex makes it easier to trade commodities related to the environment. The company's marketplace is designed to provide buyers and sellers of recycled metals with a secure and transparent platform to trade. Orbex also offers a certification of origination (COO) for all secondary metal that is transacted on its marketplace. This COO provides buyers with proof of the metal's provenance and origin, which is important for ensuring the sustainability of the recycled metal supply chain.
  • Novelis, a producer of aluminum beverage cans,launched a new line of recycled aluminum beverage cans that are made with 100% recycled content. The new cans are part of Novelis's commitment to make its products more sustainable. the. The new 100% recycled cans are a major step forward for the company and the recycled metal industry as a whole.

Acquisition and Partnerships

  • In October 2020, ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg-based multinational steel Manufacturing Corporation) and Triple M merged to form Integrated Metal Recycling Inc. This joint venture will provide recyclers with more options to sell scrap metal on an ongoing basis while also establishing long-term business partnerships with a reliable partner.
  • In December 2021, Schnitzer Steel Industries (global leader in the collection, processing, and sale of the world's most recycled product) acquired Metal Management, Inc. for US$ 2.2 Bn. This acquisition provided Schnitzer Steel a larger footprint in the U.S. scrap metal recycled market and access to metal management's recycling and processing capabilities.
  • In January 2022, Sims Metal Management acquired Sims Recycling Solutions for US$ 1.3 Bn. This acquisition provided Sims Metal Management a larger presence in the European scrap metal market, and access to Sims Recycling Solutions' recycling and processing capabilities.

Figure 2. Global Recycled Metal Market Share (%), By Source of Material, 2023


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Top companies in Global Recycled Metal Market

  • Sims Metal Management Ltd.
  • Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  • Nucor Corporation
  • European Metal Recycling Ltd.
  • Kuusakoski Group
  • Novelis Inc.
  • OmniSource Corporation
  • Ferrous Processing & Trading Co. (FTP)
  • Metal Management Inc.
  • ELG Haniel Group

*Definition: Global recycled metal market involves the collection, processing, and reuse of discarded metal products and materials to create new products, reducing the need for primary metal extraction and promoting environmental sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contamination concerns, inconsistent supply, technological limitations, market price volatility & lack of infrastructure are expected to hamper the market growth.

Environmental concerns, resource scarcity, regulatory support, and cost savings are expected to drive the market growth.

Ferrous metals, such as iron and steel, are typically the Metal type  component segment in the global recycled metal market due to their widespread use in industries and the high demand for these materials in recycled forms.

Sims Metal Management Ltd., Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Nucor Corporation, European Metal Recycling Ltd., Kuusakoski Group, Novelis Inc., OmniSource Corporation, Ferrous Processing & Trading Co. (FTP), Metal Management Inc., ELG Haniel Group

North America leading regions in the market due to their strong recycling infrastructure, regulatory support, and environmental awareness. However, the market dynamics may have changed since.

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