Global Recycled Metal Market: Snapshot

The global recycled metal market is gaining traction due to rapid urbanization and industrialization. Metal scrap generated from discarded machineries, construction materials, mechanical equipment, automotive, and electrical and electronic components can be reused to produce metals through an energy-efficient method.  Aluminum, zinc, lead, tin, gold, nickel, copper, silver, platinum, iron and steel, and palladium are the metals that can be recycled.

The growing awareness among industries such as automotive, building and construction, and machinery manufacturing regarding the benefits of recycled metals is likely to boost market growth. Industries are turning to eco-friendly raw materials in order to curb greenhouse gas emission and reduce their carbon footprint. However, collection and sorting of domestic materials to be recycled can be expensive, time consuming, and require energy, which are bound to work against the market growth.

According to Transparency Market Research, the global recycled metal market is anticipated to reach US$476.2 bn by 2024 from its initial value of US$312.9 bn in 2015, registering a staggering CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2024.

recycled metal market

Construction-related Activities Push Sales of Recycled Metals

Based on product, the global recycled metal market is segmented into ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The ferrous metal segment is known to account for a large market share in 2015 and is expected to continue dominating the market during the forecast period as well. Among ferrous metals, iron and steel are the most prominent product types and find application in the manufacturing of electrical devices, industrial machineries and equipment, construction materials, and vehicles. Recycled aluminum, among non-ferrous metals, is known to hold a significant share in the total demand for recycled metals.

In terms of end user, the building and construction sector is expected to grow over the said period owing to high rate of industrialization and urbanization. Construction-related activities are at their peak, especially in emerging economies, thereby driving the market segment. The automotive sector is another promising end-user segment that is projected to expand in future. Other end-user segments include electrical and electronics, industrial machinery, and shipbuilding.

Environmental Concerns to Propel Demand in Europe

In Asia, China currently generates high revenue, followed by India, and is expected to grow further over the forecast period. Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand are other countries that play a crucial role in driving the demand for recycled metals in Asia. Due to constant economic growth and rising gross domestic product in these nations, the construction, automotive, and industrial machinery industries have received tremendous impetus, invariably increasing the market growth of Asia Pacific, and has also given much needed boost to infrastructure activities.

Growing environmental awareness among consumers and manufacturers alike is one of the key factors driving the market for recycled metals in Europe. Moreover, adoption of recycled metal is gaining prominence in this region due to strict regulatory laws and supportive policies of various governments, especially in countries such as Germany and Italy. Fueled by the increase in building and construction activities, growth in automobile production, and rising consumer awareness regarding the impact of greenhouse gases and the benefits of recycled metal, the market for recycled metals in regions such as the Middle East and Africa as well as Latin America is expected to expand.

OmniSource Corporation, European Recycled Metal, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Nucor Corporation, and Sims Metal Management Ltd are some of the leading players operating in the global recycled metal market.


Metal recycling entails secondary production of metals by recycling scrap generated from metal-based objects. Metal scrap generated from discarded machineries, automotive, construction materials, mechanical equipment, and electrical & electronic components can be reused to produce metals through an energy efficient route. Metals recycled from scrap can be classified into three major categories: ferrous, non-ferrous, and others (such as precious metals). Several types of metals such as iron & steel, copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead, tin, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium can be recycled. Recycled metals can further be used in various end-user industries such as building & construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, industrial machinery, shipbuilding, and home appliances. Asia Pacific has been accounting for the largest share of the global recycled metal market, followed by Europe and North America, since the last few years. Middle East & Africa is expected to witness rising demand for recycled metal during the forecast period.

The report estimates and forecasts the recycled metal market on the global, regional, and country level. The study provides forecast from 2016 to 2024 based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn). The report comprises an exhaustive value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the market. The value chain analysis also offers detailed information about value addition at each stage. The study includes drivers and restraints of the recycled metal market along with their impact on demand during the forecast period. The report analyzes opportunities in the recycled metal market on the global and regional level. Drivers, restraints, and opportunities mentioned in the report are justified through quantitative and qualitative data. These have been verified through primary and secondary resources.

The report includes Porter’s Five Forces Model to determine the degree of competition in the recycled metal market. A qualitative write-up on market attractiveness analysis, wherein end-users and countries have been analyzed based on attractiveness has been included in the report. Growth rate, market size, raw material availability, profit margin, impact strength, technology, competition, and other factors (such as environmental and legal) have been evaluated in order to derive the general attractiveness of the market. The report includes price trend analysis for recycled metal from 2015 to 2024.

The study provides a comprehensive view of the recycled metal market by dividing it into product segments that include ferrous, non-ferrous, and others. In terms of end-user, the recycled metal market has been segmented into building & construction, automotive, electrical & electronics, shipbuilding, industrial machinery, and others. Product segments and end-user segments have been analyzed based on historic, present, and future trends, and the market has been estimated from 2016 to 2024 in terms of volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn).

Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for recycled metal in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). Additionally, the report comprises country-level analysis in terms of volume and revenue for end-user segments. Key countries such as the U.S., Germany, Italy, the U.K., France, Spain, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa have been included in the study. Market segmentation includes demand for individual end-users in all the regions and countries.

The report covers detailed competitive outlook that includes market share and profiles of key players operating in the global market. Key players profiled in the report include Sims Metal Management Ltd., European Recycled Metal, OmniSource Corporation, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., and Nucor Corporation. Company profiles include attributes such as company overview, number of employees, brand overview, key competitors, business overview, business strategies, recent/key developments, acquisitions, and financial overview.

Secondary research sources that were typically referred to include, but were not limited to company websites, financial reports, annual reports, investor presentations, broker reports, and SEC filings. Other sources such as internal and external proprietary databases, statistical databases and market reports, news articles, national government documents, and webcasts specific to companies operating in the market have also been referred for the report.

In-depth interviews and discussions with a wide range of key opinion leaders and industry participants were conducted to compile this research report. Primary research represents the bulk of research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. Key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents were reviewed for competitive analysis and market understanding. This helped in validating and strengthening secondary research findings. Primary research further helped in developing the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding.

The recycled metal market has been divided into the following segment

Recycled Metal Market – Product Segment Analysis

  • Ferrous
  • Non-ferrous
  • Others (Including Precious Metals, etc.)

Recycled Metal Market – End-user Analysis

  • Building & Construction
  • Automotive
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Shipbuilding
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Others (Including Household Appliances, etc.)

Recycled Metal Market – Regional Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa