Steel market is changing the market landscape globally

Published On: February 2018

Steel Market Introduction

Steel is an alloy of carbon & iron which includes around 2% carbon and other element such as manganese. While pure iron is a moderately delicate metal that rusts easily, steel can be tough, durable, and corrosion resistant. With its excellent properties, it is widely used in almost everything from sewing needles to skyscraper girders, appliances, and automobiles. Moreover, the tools required to build and manufacture such articles are also fabricated by steel. Rising popularity of steel is their relatively low cost of making, processing, and forming it. And the main product derived from iron is steel, inexpensive and most widely used of all the metals. This material is widely utilized in the manufacturing of the automotive vehicle. Light duty and heavy duty automotive vehicles have registered exponential growth in the past few years due to rising disposable income along with increasing personal vehicles. Furthermore, demand in this market is increasing year by year on account of robust growth in various end-use industries. The overall steel market projects strong gains in demand for the electrical appliances as well as building and construction industry. On the other hand, the presence of substitutes such as composites, magnesium, and aluminum is estimated to limit the gains in the upcoming years. Moreover, increasing maturity of established markets such as Germany, Canada, and the U.S. is predicted to offer above-average growth due to shifting manufacturing bases to Asia Pacific region.

Growing demand for high-quality long products and durable lightweight steel

Importance of lightweight steel has been recognized in automotive and other transportation sectors in the past few years. It is one of the prominent, recyclable, innovative and sustainable material for the 21st century. Worldwide, flat steel product type is predicted to dominate the market over the forecast period whereas, the demand for high-quality long products is increasing at a relatively faster rate. The increasing consumption of long products is due to high adoption rate by end-use industries. Industries associated with electricity and power generation accounted for the largest consumption of long steel products. Apart from this, there is another prominent trend of rising demand for advanced high strength steel (AHSS) products. Many key market players are focusing on the development of lightweight materials using steel which is further utilized by the automotive sector. This has raised the other manufacturer’s interest to develop lightweight steel products for the transportation industry. Automakers are continuously including lightweight materials to their new models. Moreover, the competition for the largest market share of lightweight material is fierce, apart from other lightweight materials AHSS is by far the leading material utilized by automakers. Moreover, steel has the lowest manufacturing-related emissions and can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle. It remains the most recycled material on account of its reapplication in various forms almost infinitely.

India’s steel sector, current scenario, and outlook

India’s steel consumption is growing at a faster rate in Asia after China and Japan. The growth factor is attributed to the rising construction activity which is one of the largest end users of the steel industry. Combined with construction sector, the automotive industry is also predicted to pose lucrative prospects for steel products. Moreover, the growth in India’s steel sector is majorly driven by the domestic availability of raw materials such as iron ore along with the presence of cost-effective labor. In addition, the Indian steel industry has always strived for continuous modernization and up-gradation of older plants and greater energy efficiency levels. In recent years, Indian steel industry has observed major investments and developments such as Jindal Stainless Limited, one of the leading producer of steel signed an agreement with Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to produce high nitrogen steel (HNS) for armor application. Steel demand is set to rise in the upcoming years on account of increased public sector spending by the Government of India along with various initiatives such as the launching of e-platform called ‘MSTC Metal Mandi’ under the ‘Digital India’ initiative, which will help the sale of finished and semi-finished steel products.

Competition scenario:-tier-1 players are holding major global market share, while the rest is distributed among relatively small players

As per our analysis, the market consists of several leading players, which are enjoying a significant share of the market and gathering considerable revenue each year in this particular product segment. The important manufacturers which are operating in the market are ArcelorMittal, POSCO, SHAGANG GROUP Inc, NIPPON STEEL & SUMITOMO METAL CORPORATION, China BaoWu Steel Group Corporation Limited, HBIS GROUP, Tata Steel, Nucor, HYUNDAI STEEL, ChinaSteel, Maanshan Iron & Steel Company Limited, ThyssenKrupp AG, JFE Steel Corporation, JSW, and JIANLONG GROUP among others. These companies are implementing numerous business strategies such as expansion of manufacturing capacity, new product launch, and supply and distribution agreements to retain their dominance over the forecast period. For instance, POSCO signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PKP, and Iranian steelmaker to build USD 1600 Million Integrated steel mill. The plant is predicted to come under operation by the end of 2019. With this current scenario, it can be concluded that emerging application of steel, as well as increasing competitive rivalry, results in the adoption of high-quality steel.

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