Steel recycling is a process that is widely performed in steel industries worldwide. Recycled steel is more cost effective than mining iron ore and then converting it into new steel. There are mainly three broad sources of scrap steel- home scrap (i.e. the scrap produced within a mill and is available within few weeks of time), prompt scrap (i.e. the scrap produced from manufacturing of steel products and is available within few months), and obsolete scrap (i.e. the scrap produced during the deterioration stage of steel products and it takes decades to get the scrap).
For steel recycling, steel scrap and steel cans are collected at steel refineries, and are assessed for alloy manufacture. With the help of reverse electroplating, tin is removed from the cans and is converted into liquid metallic iron, which is further used in the production of new steel. Recycled steel is used in packaging of food products, construction of furniture, fixtures and manufacture of automobiles, aircrafts, steel inner-springs, box springs, mattress foam, ductworks and railway sleepers.
Recycled steel possesses numerous benefits such as, it saves landfill space, processing is economic and ecological, saves energy, electricity and water, reduces the use of coal, iron ore & limestone and reduces air pollution, water pollution, mining wastes & consumer wastes.
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Recycled Steel Industry: Market Dynamics
Certain factors such as increase in demand for scrap steel for the production of steel, application in automobile industry, increasing investments in equipment used for scrap metal extraction, uses of recycled steel such as structural steel and light gauge in building and construction industry, and establishment of steel mills using the technology of electric arc furnace, act as the main drivers of this market. Also, factors such as increasing prominence of other alternative metals and restrictions in export of scrap steel can be considered as challenges in recycled steel industry over the forecast period.
Some technical factors such as the necessity of detailed knowledge of process and product, quality and warranty of the components, lack of normalization of any component and factors such as assured supply, insufficient storage space, cost incurred in storage and testing & categorization of products are also some of the major challenges identified in the recycled steel industry. The opportunities, which are associated with the market of recycled steel are, sustaining biodiversity and human health, reducing the risk of metal scarcity, value of energy saved in metal production, enhanced landfill mining and waste management, electric arc furnace, recovery of metals, etc.
Trends prevailing in the industry are increasing rates of recycled steel as equated to primary manufacturing and also economic & environmental remunerations of recycling have contributed much to its acceptance. Governments of developing nations are taking efforts to reduce carbon footprint and rising resource efficiency. Regulations and laws in Japan, such as, promotion of efficient utilization of resources, automobile recycling law and container & packaging recycling law have prepared the companies to make it mandatory to promote the scrap metal recycling and also reduce landfill disposal and increase energy savings.
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Recycled Steel Market: Segmentation
- By End Use Industry:
- Building & Construction
- Industrial Machinery
- Electronics & Electrical Equipment
- By Source of Material:
- Machines and equipment
- Cans and containers
- Longstanding furnishings/appliances
Recycled Steel Market: Regional Outlook
Asia-Pacific region is expected to exhibit a relatively high growth rate, followed by Europe and North America in the global recycled steel market, owing to the high scrap imports in China, followed by India and Japan. Increase in demand for recycled steel is expected from Middle East and Africa during the forecast period. However, the market of recycled steel in Latin America is untapped because of limited availability.
Recycled Steel Market: Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants in the Global Recycled Steel Market identified across the value chain include
- ArcelorMittal S.A.
- Gerdau group
- Metalico Inc.
- Maanshan Iron & Steel Company Limited
- Baosteel Resources Co. Ltd.
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