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The high strength steel market is expected to register a CAGR of more than 7.5% during the forecast period. Some of the prominent trends that the market is rapidly increasing demand from the construction industry.
- High costs of production and high technological constraints are likely to hinder the market’s growth.
- Industrial and infrastructural development in Asia-Pacific is expected to act as an opportunity for the market.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Applications in the Automotive Industry
- High strength steels have a wide range of applications in the automotive sector, to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle and increase the stiffness and energy absorption in some areas.
- High strength steels possess various properties that enhance their demand in the automotive sector: Mechanical properties, thickness and width capabilities among others.
- In general, the strength of a steel in the automotive sector is controlled by its microstructure, which differs according to its chemical composition, its thermal history, and the deformation processes it undergoes during its production schedule.
- High strength steel provides several advantages over conventional steels, especially when weight is considered an important factor for fuel efficiency in the automotive sector. Their mechanical properties, weldability, fatigue, static strength, cathodic protection, and hydrogen embrittlement performance are proving to be a boon for the automobile industry.
- Recently, the global automotive production declined by 1.1% over the previous year. Additionally, the automotive demand in Asian countries, like India, Japan, and the Southeast Asian countries, is likely to witness growth in the coming years.
- In the North American region, the United States has the largest automotive industry. Automotive is the largest manufacturing sector of the country and accounts for around 3% of the country’s GDP. It is also the country’s biggest exporting industry, which had exported around USD 692 billion worth of vehicles and parts in the previous years. In 2018, the automotive production of the United States witnessed a growth rate of 1.1% over the previous year.
- Increasing usage of high strength steel for better fuel efficiency and light weight vehicles will boost the market growth in the automotive industry.
China Country to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Region
- Infrastructure and highway expansion is a key part of China’s 13th Five Year Plan. In the present scenario, the government is taking initiatives, which involves two types of road networks that include a tolled expressways with low tariff and another without toll.
- The number of high bridge constructions in China surpasses the rest of the world. The total number of skyscrapers constructed in China, dominated the rest of world, in terms of skyscraper constructions.
- For the 23rd year in a row, China has been the leading country across the world for the construction of new skyscrapers, with 88 constructed in total.
- The 528-meter (1,732 ft) Citic Tower in Beijing was constructed recently. It has a total of 108 floors and ranks as the fourth-tallest building in China, as well as the eighth-tallest worldwide.
- The ’belt and road’ initiative is leading to the construction of a vast network of railways, highways, energy pipelines, and streamlined border crossings. This extend southward to Pakistan, India, and the Rest of Southeast Asia, and westward through the mountainous regions of former Soviet Republics. This has been dubbed as the ’21st century silk road’. The road is expected to connect China with 71 countries, which accounts for half of the world’s population and a quarter of the global GDP.
- The aircraft parts and assembly manufacturing sector in the country is growing at a rapid pace, with the presence of over 200 small aircraft parts manufacturers. Major manufacturers are concentrated in Nanchang, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Harbin, Shijiazhuang, and Shenyang.
- China is the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. The country’s automotive sector has been shaping up for product evolution, with the country focusing on manufacturing products, to ensure fuel economy and to minimize emissions (owing to growing environmental concerns due to mounting pollution in the country). However, the market witnessed a shrink in the recent past, as the production decreased by 4.2%. It was also the first time that the market witnessed a drop in the sales, after nearly 20 years of growth. The trade war between China and the United States is the major reason for the drop in the sales.
- Hence, with the growth in the various end-user sectors in the country, the demand for high strength steel is expected to increase significantly in the upcoming years.
The high strength steel market is partially consolidated, with few players holding the major share in the market. Key players in the high strength steel market include ArcelorMittal, United States Steel Corporation, Tata Steels Ltd, JSW Steel, and Voestalpine AG, among others.
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