The recycled metal market was valued at US$ 713.44 Bn in 2017 is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period, according to a new report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR)  titled ‘Recycled Metal Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026’. Expansion in the recycled metal market is primarily driven by the increase in awareness about energy conservation through secondary production of metals, i.e. metal recycling. Manufacturers of metals have started adopting advanced energy management systems to lower their environmental footprint.

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Energy Efficiency and Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Metal Recycling to Drive Market Growth

A large amount of energy is required for the extraction of metal from ores. Energy consumed in metal production accounts for approximately 8.3% of the global energy consumption. Furthermore, the extraction process leads to the emission of greenhouse gases. The primary production of metals entails extraction of metals from metal ores, while secondary production involves the preparation of metals from scrap collection.

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Primary production of ferrous metals entails the reduction of iron oxide to iron by reducing agents such as coke, coal, and natural gas. The reduction takes place at a high temperature and entails high energy. However, the electric arc furnace (EAF) process is used in the secondary production of steel from scrap. The process consumes considerably less amount of energy. Thus, the energy requirement for primary production of ferrous metals is significantly higher than that for secondary production. Therefore, secondary production of ferrous metals through recycled metal leads to cost reduction.

Production of 100 kilo tons of aluminum from bauxite ore requires 4,700 terra joules of energy. Production of other non-ferrous metals such as copper, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc also entails significant amount of energy. Furthermore, the extraction process results in the emission of greenhouse gases. However, non-ferrous metals can be produced from scrap metal sources through a cost-effective method that consumes significantly low amount of energy. The emission of carbon dioxide is reduced during the secondary production of non-ferrous metals.

Manufacturers of metals have started adopting advanced energy management systems to lower their environmental footprint. Recycled metal is projected to help industry players achieve their sustainability goals in the near future. This, in turn, is estimated to propel the recycled metal market in the next few years.

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High Degree of Competition Exists Among Established Players

Players of different sizes and shares operate in the global recycled metal market. High intensity of competition is likely to exist among established players due to their integrated value chain. Exit barriers are high owing to the high fixed costs and large capital investment made at the initial stage. This, in turn, intensifies rivalry among market players.

The market for recycled metal can be segmented into

Recycled Metal Market, by Metal

  • Ferrous Metals
  • Non-ferrous Metals
    • Aluminum
    • Copper
    • Lead
    • Others
  • Precious Metals

Recycled Metal Market, by End-user

  • Building & Construction
  • Automotive
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Shipbuilding
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Others

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