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Metal Recycling Market: Information by Metal Type (Ferrous, Non-Ferrous), Scrap (Old Scrap, New Scrap), End-User (Consumer Durables, Recycling, Others), and Region—Forecast till 2029

Market Snapshot
Study Period:
Base Year:
Fastest Growing Market:
Largest Market:
North America
5.3 %
Key Players
ArcelorMittal S.A.

Tata Steel Limited

Commercial Metals Company

Sims Metal Management Limited

Aurubis AG

Market Scenario

Metal recycling can be closely linked to the recovery and processing of scrap metals after the end of the product and structure lifecycle to be presented as a raw material in the production of new goods. In recent years, the rapid industrialization and urbanization, especially from the developing economies have created a need for more metal ores. Therefore, the manufacturers in the metals and minerals industry are facing issues in meeting these rapidly rising demands due to depleting natural resources and growing restrictions on mining activities.

These manufacturers are focusing on adopting various technologies that can enable them to recycle and reuse scrap metals, which is adding to the growth of the market. However, the increasing environmental concerns and demand for energy conservation globally have resulted in the growing use of eco-friendly materials, such as starch-based biomaterials and plant-based biomaterials in the packaging, and food & beverages industry, therefore, hampering the growth of the global metal recycling market.

Segmentation Overview

Ferrous Segment to Witness Significant Growth Due to Steel

Steel retains an extremely high overall recycling rate globally, therefore driving the ferrous segment. As per the EPA, the recycling rate for steel cans was 70.9% in 2018. The high recycling rate of the metal can be attributed to the properties of steel allowing it to be smelted over and over. Besides, steel scraps are used to make a new steel product, which, not only enables the manufacturers to meet the growing demand for new steel but also helps in reducing the CO2 emission levels.

According to the EPA, steel manufactured from every ton of scrap steel can reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 times, which is another factor compelling the manufacturers in the industrial metal recycling technology in their facilities. Additionally, the rising geopolitical tension, such as the trade war has obligated the governmental agencies and industrialists in the U.S. and European Union to decrease their dependency on metals imports from other economies like China and India. This is further driving the metal recycling industry of the regional markets.

Non-Ferrous Forecasted to be the Fastest Growing Segment

The non-ferrous segment is anticipated to be the largest and the fastest-growing segment in the global metal recycling market during the forecast period. This growth of the segment can be primarily contributed to the unique physical properties of aluminum, allowing it to fit every desired recycling and processing route. Aluminum has the highest recycling rate in comparison to all the other metals present in the non-ferrous segment. As per the Aluminum Association, Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Aluminum is 100% recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely.

This characteristic of aluminum has made it the material of choice for recycling in various end-use industries, especially food and beverage containers and packaging. Although the recyclability rate of steel is more as compared to aluminum, aluminum's characteristics, such as lower emissions, higher efficiency, lightweight, and easy transportability give it the upper hand. Thus, creating a demand for more recycled aluminum across the market.

By End-User

Consumer Preference towards Sustainability to Boost Food and Beverages Segment

The food and beverages segment held the largest market share of the global metal recycling market in 2019 and is anticipated to follow the same trend during the review period. This drift in the market is driven by the seismic shift in the consumer preference towards sustainability, which is compelling the manufacturers engaged in the industry to adopt environmentally friendly and cost-driven solutions that can meet the changing consumer behavior.

Since metal like steel and aluminum can be easily recycled and bring down the emission levels, a large number of manufacturers are using them for packaging beverage cans. As per the Aluminum association, in 2018, the total recycling rate of aluminum containers and packaging, which includes beverage containers, food containers, foil, and another aluminum packaging, was 34.9%. Within this number, the most recycled category of aluminum was beer and soft drink cans, at 50.4%.

Regional Overview

Developing Markets in the Region to Drive Global Metal Recycling Market in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific market dominated the global metal recycling market in 2019 and is expected to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. The metal recycling market in Asia-pacific is primarily driven by increasing demand for metals like iron, steel, and aluminum due to rapid industrialization and urbanization across the developing markets of China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Also, the region is home to two of the most dynamic and populated economies in the world–China and India. They have continuously witnessed a growth in their population rate, thus making Asia the region with the highest number of births in the world.

This increase in the population across the regional market has further created a need for more residential and commercial buildings across the market and consequently added to the demand for metals for the construction of these buildings. Moreover, the improving lifestyle and growing industrialization have added to the demand for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from end-use industries like automotive, packaging, and food & beverages in recent years. As per the World Steel Association, steel demand in the Asia and Pacific region should grow by 1.3% in 2019.

Although the region is the largest producer of most of the metal ores and maintains an adequate supply and demand of the raw materials, the growing demand for the metal from various end-use industries and depleting natural resources have compelled the manufacturers and the governmental organization to adopt metal recycling.  Therefore, adding to the growth of the market.

Key Developments

  • In December 2020, Metal Recycling Corporation announced the plans to acquire and purchase the assets of Sol Alman Company. With this acquisition, the company will operate three full-service scrap metal recycling facilities in Arkansas.
  • In November 2020, Fort Worth-based Sortera Alloys Inc., as a part of its expansion plan announced to invest USD 4.2 million to move its manufacturing operations to Fort Wayne.
  • In August 2019, River Metals Recycling LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of David J. Joseph Company (DJJ), finalized the acquisition of substantially all of the metal recycling assets of Industrial Services of America Inc. (ISA) for USD 23 million.
  • In May 2019, Aurubis AG signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of the Belgian-Spanish Metallo Group. Through this takeover, the company is planning to consistently continue its growth strategy by strengthening its recycling portfolio.
  • In Jan 2018, Advanced Manufacturing Control Systems Limited announced the acquisition of Brady Recycling solutions, a global provider of trading, risk management, and settlement software to the energy, commodities, and recycling sectors. Through this acquisition, the company focuses on strengthening its position in the recycling industry.

Competitive Landscape

As the new energy conservation and sustainability trends are rising across the markets a large number of industrialists engaged in the metals and minerals business are focusing on incorporating cutting-edge technologies in their manufacturing facilities that can enable them to bring down the operation and production cost.

These players are focusing on increasing the recyclability rate in their manufacturing facilities. This trend across the industry has resulted in an increased number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry. This is also considered as the key business growth strategy adopted by these players to create viable business growth by penetrating the existing and untapped markets across the globe.

Metal Recycling Market: Key Players

  • ArcelorMittal S.A.
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Commercial Metals Company
  • Sims Metal Management Limited
  • Aurubis AG
  • Norsk Hydro ASA
  • Tata Steel Limited
  • Kimmel Scrap Iron & Metal Co., Inc
  • Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  • Dowa Holdings Co., Ltd.
  • OmniSource Corporation
  • ,Ltd.
  • PSC Metals Inc
  • AMG Resources Corporation
  • Alter Trading Inc

Metal Recycling Market: Segmentation

By Metal Type

  • Ferrous
    • Iron
    • Steel
  • Non-Ferrous
    • Aluminum
    • Copper
    • Others

By Scrap Type

  • Old Scrap
  • New Scrap

By End-User

  • Building & Construction
  • Automotive
  • Shipbuilding
  • Consumer Durables
  • Recycling
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Others

By Region

North America

  • The U.S.
  • Canada
  • Mexico


  • Germany
  • France
  • The U.K.
  • Italy
  • The Rest of Europe


  • China
  • Japan
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • The Rest of Asia-Pacific

Central and South America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Colombia
  • The Rest of Central and South America and the Caribbean

The Middle East

  • Saudi Arabia
  • The UAE
  • Oman
  • Bahrain
  • Turkey
  • The Rest of Middle East


  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • The Rest of Africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ArcelorMittal S.A., Nucor Corporation, Commercial Metals Company, Sims Metal Management Limited, Aurubis AG, Norsk Hydro ASA, Tata Steel Limited, Kimmel Scrap Iron & Metal Co., Inc, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Dowa Holdings Co., Ltd., OmniSource Corporation, BaosteelCo., Ltd. are the top players in Metal Recycling Market.
Ferrous Segment is expected to be the leading segment in Metal Recycling Market during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share in Metal Recycling Market.
Rapid industrialization and urbanization, increasing environmental concerns, and demand for energy conservation globally are the key factors expected to drive Metal Recycling Market during the forecast period.
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