Iron Ore Market Research Report—Global Forecast till 2030

Iron Ore Market Research Report Information by Product Type (Hematite, Magnetite, Limonite. Siderite, Others) By Form (Sinter Fines, Lumps, Pellets, Others) By End-Use Industry (Steel Manufacturing, Others) and By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Rest of the World) Forecast Till 2030

ID: MRFR/CnM/6532-CR | October 2022 | Region: Global | 110 Pages         

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Iron Ore Market

The Iron Ore Market is expected to reach a value of $2.42 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of around 5.2%.

By Product Type Hematite Magnetite Limonite Siderite Others
By Form Sinter Fines Lumps Pellets Others
By End-Use Industry Steelmaking Others
Key Players
Companies Profiled   Vale S.A.   Rio Tinto   BHP   Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.   Anglo American Plc   Ansteel Group   Cleveland Cliffs Inc.   Metinvest   Ferrexpo
Market Driving Forces   Use of steel in the construction of low- and high-rise buildings sports stadiums bridge deck plates harbors   Rising populations
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Iron Ore Market Overview

The global iron ore market was valued at USD 2,70,865.9 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD  5,35,722.3 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.51%.

High use of steel in automotive manufacturing is another major driver of the global market, which boosts up the demand for iron ore. Steel finds uses in automobile structure, panels, doors, engine blocks, gears, suspension, wheels, fuel tanks, steering, and braking systems. Moreover, the use of iron oxide pigments in lithium batteries for electric vehicles further promotes the demand for iron ore industry globally. Steel finds application in the manufacturing of automobile structures, panels, doors, engine blocks, gears, suspensions, wheels, fuel tanks, steering, and braking systems. The use of advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) is also increasing as it helps reduce the overall weight of the vehicle and enhance fuel efficiency. The development of new grades of AHSS has enabled the manufacturers to reduce the overall vehicle weight by 25–39% compared to conventional steel.

Covid-19 Impact on Global Iron Ore Market

The global economy is set to expand 5.6% in 2021, after hitting the lowest by the outbreak of COVID-19. The global economy is envisioned to recover at a moderate growth of 4.3% in 2022. However, the global GDP is expected to remain 1.8% below pre-pandemic projections. The pandemic resulted in disruptions across the global operations and supply chain of almost every end-use industry. The disruptions resulted in slowing or shutting down of the markets. However, with the uplifting of bans and travel restrictions, the growth across end-use industries has gained significant momentum.

The companies are working aggressively towards safeguarding the health and wellbeing of their employees while also supporting government goals of maintaining critical business activities in healthcare, power generation, and food production. For instance, Anglo American rolled out a global health awareness and support program called WeCare, specifically to protect the physical & mental health, wellbeing, and livelihoods of employees and host communities. The mining company continued providing water, electricity, housing, and food to support teachers, students, small businesses, and additional hospital facilities, beds, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment. Across the business, it implemented all the appropriate health, hygiene, and distancing measures to keep its people safe and well while maintaining the security and integrity of its operations. In response to COVID-19, the company invested USD 23 million on education and training initiatives and USD 35 million on health and welfare projects.

The majority of raw materials suppliers in this market had to shut down their operating facilities due to the outbreak of COVID-19. In response to combat the virus, the key suppliers shifted their focus towards offering relief in the pandemic.

However, these companies have begun operations again. Vale offered humanitarian support to the Brazilian Government through its infrastructure, enabling the import of medical supplies, such as ventilators and test kits, for attending to patients infected with the COVID-19 virus and its variants. This ongoing effort is being developed through permanent contact with the Health Authorities of the country’s Government. Additionally, the company is globally implementing several measures to support the prevention of the COVID-19 and the business continuity at its sites, such as the enforcement of wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing, social distancing, temperature monitoring, frequent clean down, and disinfection within facilities.

Market Dynamics


  • Healthy growth of the construction industry

The growing construction industry in emerging regional markets, with rising residential and commercial construction, especially in India and China, coupled with improving living standards and rising per capita disposable incomes, is driving the growth of the iron ore market. Increasing spending by the Indian Government on infrastructure development, such as the Smart Cities Mission, Green Corridor, and building of ports, is propelling the demand for iron ore. According to Invest India, the construction industry in the country is expected to reach USD 738.5 billion in 2022. With the mega-events such as Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022, the UAE and Qatar are expected to increase the number of construction and renovation activities, thereby fueling the demand for steel in the region. Dubai has allocated USD 7 billion for infrastructure development and construction for the World Expo 2020, while Qatar is spending on the country's economic transformation program, National Vision 2030. Under the National Vision 2030, the Government plans to invest some USD 16.4 billion in infrastructure and real estate projects over the next four years.

  • Growing use of steel in the automotive and transportation industries

The WorldAutoSteel, an automotive group of the World Steel Association, completed a three-year program called Future Steel Vehicle (FSV) in 2013, delivering fully engineered steel-intensive designs for electric vehicles. FSV features steel body structure designs that reduce mass by more than 35% over a benchmark vehicle and reduce total life cycle emissions by approximately 70%. The growth is supported by the growing need to reduce vehicular emission due to the stringent regulations by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Legislation for Environment Protection. The growing adoption of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles to curb CO2 emissions and reduce the use of petrochemicals has increased their production, which is expected to drive the demand for steel in automotive manufacturing. In 2020, WorldAutoSteel announced the beginning of the Steel E-Motive program, which is a new vehicle engineering initiative in order to demonstrate advanced steel architectures for future mobility. The program is a partnership with global engineering and environmental consulting firm Ricardo, aiming to demonstrate the benefits of Advanced High Strength Steel products and technologies in solving the architectural challenges of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).


  • Stringent government regulations on mining activities

An extensive regulatory system has been developed to govern mining operations across the globe. Mining poses significant environmental challenges. It generates large volumes of waste rock, tailings, acid mine drainage, airborne dust, and other contaminants, which are deposited on land and in the air and water. For these reasons, there are several stringent environmental regulations on mining activities. Apart from environmental damage, mining activities are prone to dangers to the miners and have safety issues concerning exposure to poisonous gases and dust, mine cave-ins, equipment problems, explosions, hearing loss from loud machinery, and heatstroke. Due to this, the International Labour Organization promotes workers' rights and determined a convention was needed to protect the health and safety of mineworkers. The convention that was eventually adopted for this purpose was the Safety and Health in Mines Convention of 1995.


  • Increasing adoption of iron oxide pigments in various applications

Iron oxide is deployed in several applications such as catalysts in the petroleum industry, oil drilling rigs, hydrogen sulfide removal, and hydrogen gas production. Iron oxide catalysts containing zirconium and aluminum are used to produce light hydrocarbons by catalytic cracking of petroleum residual oil in a steam atmosphere. The catalyst is a hematite structure and is useful for the decomposition and desulfurization of residual oil. The growing global energy demand, oil price fluctuations, and climatic changes have increased the focus on renewable energy. Metallic iron is oxidized by steam producing hydrogen and iron oxides. Coal-derived syngas is then passed through oxides, reducing them back to iron. Since the gaseous products of the oxidation reaction consist of hydrogen and steam, the process generates highly pure hydrogen. Hydrogen is used in various industrial applications, including metalworking, flat glass production, as a protective and carrier gas, in deposition processes, for cleaning, in etching, and in reduction processes. It is also used in electricity generation, for example, for generator cooling or corrosion prevention in power plant pipelines. Hydrogen is used to process crude oil into refined fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, and for removing contaminants, such as sulfur, from the fuels. In the energy field, most hydrogen is used through fuel cells in electric vehicles; it also has applications in the aviation and maritime industries.

Segmentation of Global Iron Ore Market

By Product Type

  • Hematite

  • Magnetite

  • Limonite

  • Siderite

  • Others

By Form

  • Sinter Fines

  • Lumps

  • Pellets

  • Others

By End-Use Industry

  • Steel Manufacturing

  • Others

By Region

  • North America

  • Europe

  • Asia Pacific

  • Latin America

  • Middle East & Africa

Regional Analysis

Geographically, Global Iron Ore Market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In North America the increasing demand for iron ore from steel making industry in North America. The US is a major contributor to the market in the region. Iron ore market is largely supplied by European countries such as the UK and Germany. The growing demand for steel from the automotive industry in the region is likely to boost the demand for the steel market. China produces the most iron ore in Asia-Pacific, followed by Japan, India, and Korea. Brazil, Germany, and Russia are among the world's most important iron ore producers. In important Latin American country markets, the building sector is predicted to restart in 2021, with development in homes, hotels, and other architectural market categories. Due to the country's increasing construction industry, Saudi Arabia has the largest share of the Middle East & Africa.

Competitive Landscape

The global iron ore market is characterized by the presence of many global, regional, and local vendors. The market is highly competitive with all the players competing to gain maximum market share. It is crucial for the vendors to provide cost-effective and high-quality iron ore to compete in the market. The competitive scenario is fragmented between the tier-1, tier-2, and tier-3 companies, while tier-1 and tier-2 companies in the market hold over 60% the global iron ore market share.

The global iron-ore market remains highly consolidated, with four leaders, i.e., Vale SA (Brazil), BHP (Australia), Rio Tinto (the UK), and Fortescue Metal Group (Australia), accounting for over two-thirds of global iron-ore sales. This is because these companies have a large manufacturing and processing base, a global sales network, forward integrated business, and brand image.  Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Ansteel Group Corporation Limited, ArcelorMittal, Anglo American, HBIS Group, and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. are the prominent players operating in the global iron ore market analysis.

Some of the key developments include:

  • In September 2021 Ural Steel (part of Metalloinvest) and the government of the Orenburg region have signed an environmental agreement focused on improving air quality in Novotroitsk. The agreement outlines both parties’ intention to carry out consolidated calculations to determine the contribution of all-natural resource consumers and economic sectors to air pollution in Novotroitsk. This undertaking will be organized by the government of the Orenburg region together with the territorial federal authorities, as well as the town administration and enterprises, including Ural Steel.

  • In May 2021 Metalloinvest signed new long-term contracts with leading Russian and international companies for the supply of iron ore products. Under these agreements, Metalloinvest will supply 3.6 mn tons of concentrate and 12 mn tons of pellets per year from Lebedinsky GOK and Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK. The contract's terms range from one to three years.

  • In December 2020 LKAB announced its plans for extensive renovation and new construction of production facilities in Kiruna and Malmberget, as well as expansion of infrastructure of the mines. The project will help the company ensure an uninterrupted supply of iron ore in the future

  • In November 2019 Rio Tinto invested USD 749 million in its existing Greater Tom Price operations to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Report Overview:

The Global Iron Ore Market is segmented by product type, form, end-use industry, and region in the report. In terms of insights, this report has focused on various levels of analysis such as market dynamics, value chain analysis, Porter's five forces, competitive landscape, and company profiles—all of which comprise and discuss views on the global iron ore market emerging and fast-growing segments, regions, and countries.

Objectives of the Study

  • To get a comprehensive overview of the Global Iron Ore Market

  • To get wide-ranging information about the key factors driving the market and market opportunities

  • To gain information regarding the key players in the industry, their product portfolio, strategies, and key developments

  • To gain insights about the key country/region in which the market is growing

Intended Audience

  • Industrial sector

  • Automotive Industry

Report Scope:

Report Attribute/Metric Details
  Market Size    2030: 5,35,722.3 USD Million
  CAGR    4.51% CAGR (2022-2030)
  Base Year    2021
  Forecast Period    2022-2030
  Historical Data    2019-2020
  Forecast Units    Value (USD Million)
  Report Coverage    Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
  Segments Covered    Product Type, Form, End-Use, and Region
  Geographies Covered   Vale S.A, Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Ansteel Group Corporation Limited and Others
  Key Vendors   Vale S.A, Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Ansteel Group Corporation Limited and Others
  Key Market Opportunities   â€¢ Increasing adoption of iron oxide pigments in various applications
  Key Market Drivers   â€¢ Healthy growth of the construction industry • Growing use of steel in the automotive and transportation industries

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The global iron ore market would register a growth of 4.51%

Stringent government regulations on mining activities.

The expected growth rate of the iron ore market is estimated to be 4.51% by 2030.

Highly sophisticated and technologically advanced products and equipment which have acted as a motivating factor to the iron ore market.