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Non-ferrous Scrap Recycling Market Growth & Trends

The global non-ferrous scrap recycling market size is anticipated to reach USD 308.5 million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 2.8%, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The growth of the market is attributed to increasing consumer awareness pertaining to recycling coupled with the rising production of secondary metals.

The primary production of metals is a capital intensive procedure and consumes lots of energy. Usage of scrap in metal production reduces manufacturing costs and energy consumption, making secondary metal production both economically and environmentally friendly. This compels the manufacturers to opt for secondary production, giving rise to more demand for scrap metal.

Based on metal, the market has been segmented into aluminum, copper, lead, and others. There are various types of non-ferrous metals of which aluminum and copper account for a higher share owing to their phenomenal properties. Such properties propel their use in various applications including construction, automotive, and consumer goods industries. As a result, these three sectors are the major contributors to the generation of non-ferrous metal scrap.

Aluminum is extensively used in the construction industry owing to its lightweight characteristics in various structures such as roofing, walls, door and window frames, and even handles. Its usage is increasing in the automotive industry as well in vehicle body frames. The metal has a high recovery rate from both the construction and automotive sectors, which makes its largest segment, in terms of volume, of the global market.

Non-ferrous accounts for a higher revenue share than ferrous scrap in the overall market owing to their high prices. However, the spread of the covid-19 pandemic has caused the prices of the metals to decline drastically. In India, prices of aluminum and copper dropped by 5% in February 2020 from January 2020. The pandemic caused the shutting down of manufacturing operations and restricting transportation, which resulted in low demand for these metals, resulting in a decline in prices.

Construction and automotive are major shareholding sectors in terms of scrap generation; however, their growth rate is less when compared to consumer goods. Household appliances and other consumer goods have a short lifespan than structures and vehicles, owing to which these products tend to turn into scrap faster than products of the other sectors.

Asia Pacific accounted for the largest volume share in 2019 and this trend is anticipated to continue over the forecast period. The growth is augmented towards Japan, India, and Southeast Asian countries, which are taking efforts in improvising their recycling industry. The nations are inviting investments for the industry to propel market growth. For instance, in 2019, Jiangxi Copper Co. announced its plan to build a plant for producing refined copper in Malaysia, where scrap shall be used as a key raw material.

The growth of the non-ferrous scrap recycling industry is expected to be further propelled by government initiatives. For instance, on March 27, 2020, the Indian Ministry of Mines released a Draft National Non-Ferrous Metals Scrap Recycling Policy for emphasizing on the underdeveloped non-ferrous scrap recycling sector in the country. India is a huge hub of scrap generation; however, due to unorganized nature and less consumer awareness towards recycling, the country majorly relies on imports for its consumption. Such policies are expected to address the issues pertaining to recycling in the country.

The market is both highly competitive and unorganized in nature. The COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted market growth and players of the industry as of 2020. Factors like shortage of workers, no demand from manufacturing plants, no inflow of scrap in yards owing to social distancing, and transport restrictions have led to the shutdown of many recycling centers. As of March 2020, non-ferrous scrap processors in China reduced their operating capacity to 40-50% owing to declining orders.

Non-ferrous Scrap Recycling Market Report Highlights

  • Asia Pacific held the highest revenue share of over 45.0% in 2019 owing to increasing investments and initiatives towards generation and processing of non-ferrous scrap in the region
  • Automotive is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 2.9%, in terms of revenue, over the forecast period owing to the rise in the number of discarded vehicles every year across the globe
  • Copper held the largest revenue share of over 56.0% in 2019 owing to its high price compared to other metals and its increasing demand from construction and consumer goods sectors
  • Construction held the largest volume share of 36.0% in 2019 owing to high consumption of non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, and zinc in infrastructural developments and high recovery rate of these metals
  • Considering the increasing demand for non-ferrous metals, investments in the industry are evident. For instance, in March 2018, Meldgaard opened its facility in Denmark for recycling ash and heavy metal processing.