Metal Recycling Market Size To Rise USD 249.4 Bn By 2032

Published Date : 16 Oct 2023

The global metal recycling market size surpassed USD 119.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to rise to USD 249.4 billion by 2032, anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.70 percent during the projection period from 2023 to 2032.

Metal Recycling Market Size and Growth Rate From 2023 To 2032

Market Overview

The metal recycling market refers to the industry involved in collecting, processing, and reusing various types of metal materials, such as aluminum, steel, copper, and others, to produce new products. This market plays a crucial role in conserving natural resources, reducing energy consumption, and minimizing environmental impacts associated with mining and extracting raw metals. Metal recycling encompasses activities like scrap collection, sorting, melting, and alloying to create new metal products. It's an essential component of sustainable resource management and a significant contributor to the global economy.

The metal recycling market is driven by several factors including technological advancements, government initiatives to support recycling plants, rising urbanization, rising industrialization, increasing investments by key market players, growing environmental concerns, increasing awareness regarding the efficient utilization of natural resources with the aim saving from depletion, and rising demand for recycled iron, copper, and steel products. Moreover, the stringent regulations imposed by the government regarding the Metal Mining Act, increasing demand for steel in renovation, and the rapid growth of the construction as well as automobile industries are expected to boost the market's growth during the forecast period.

  • In May 2023, Heraeus Precious Metals, a renowned supplier of precious metal products announced the expansion of its recycling capacities at its headquarters in Hanau, Germany. Heraeus Precious Metals is expanding its recycling capacities to serve the increasing global recycling demand. The company is investing around 35 million euros, and 20 new jobs will be created through the expansion.
  • In February 2022, Tata Steel stated that it is planning to set up small-sized steel recycling plants to make steel from scraped automobiles and other products. In 2021, Tata Steel commissioned its first such steel recycling plant at Rohtak in Haryana. He also stated that half a million or 800,000-tonne steel plant, to convert that into reinforced steel from scrap steel.
  • In August 2023, in the company's 64th annual general meeting, it was stated that Aditya Birla Group company Hindalco Industries will be investing ₹ 2,000 crore in a copper and e-waste recycling facility in India.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific is expected to hold the largest market share over the forecast period owing to the increasing presence of prominent market players, growing environmental concerns, rapid industrialization, technology advancement, increasing construction activities, rapid growth of the automobile industry, rising urbanization, supportive government regulations, and rapid growth of several sectors such as automobile, and equipment & machinery manufacturing sectors. Several initiatives are taken by the government to favour low-carbon products and to reduce pollution including a scrappage incentive scheme by Minister of Road Transport and Highway of India, Nitin Gadkari.

China is the global leader in producing metal. China carries major companies in the metal recycling industry including China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited, China Recycling Development Corporation Ltd., GEM Co. Ltd., Hubei Xingye Iron & Steel Furnace Co. Ltd., Chiho-Tiande Group Limited, and others. Baowu Group is the China’s largest steel producer in 2022. As per the data in the reference with WorldSteel (WSA) data, the company’s steel production rose by 1% y/y from the previous year, which strengthened its position as the largest steel producer in 2022.

In 2022, The Chinese Baowu Group produced 63 million tons more steel than ArcelorMittal. India emerged as the world’s second-largest producer of crude steel whereas China is the first largest producer of crude steel. According to the Union Minister of Steel and Civil Aviation of India, India has become the second-largest producer of crude steel from 4th largest producer, following China. India has witnessed a hike of 42% in Crude steel production from 88.98 MT in 2014-15 to 126.26 MT in 2022-23. In addition, the growth of the market is also driven by the increasing investment by prominent market players in developing countries such as China, India, and Japan.

For instance, In August 2023, TANAKA a Japan-based producer of recycled-content precious metals, announced that they want to establish a recycling network to promote recycling of precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum group metals (PMGs) globally. Those new facilities are being built by Tanaka’ including its North Attleborough plant in Massachusetts (United States), Marin plant in Switzerland (Europe), two plants in Japan, and one in Singapore and Taiwan.  As part of this expansion, Tanaka is also in the process of building a new refinery in China’s Sichuan province.

The facility is being built by Tanaka’s already existing Chengdu Guangming Paite Precious Metal Co. Ltd. affiliate company in China, known as Ya’an Guangming Paite Precious Metal Co. Ltd. Tanaka’s refinery in China is projected to initiate its operations in the summer of 2024 with an approximate investment of USD 34.1 million. Therefore, this is expected to fuel the metal recycling market growth in the region during the forecast period.

Metal Recycling Market Report Scope:

Report Coverage Details
Market Revenue in 2023 USD 127.95 Billion
Projected Forecast Revenue by 2032 USD 249.4 Billion
Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032 CAGR of 7.70%
Largest Market Asia Pacific
Base Year 2022
Forecast Period 2023 to 2032
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa

Market Dynamics


Increasing investment by key market players

The rising investment by key market players and efficient use of recycled metal is projected to fuel the growth of the metal recycling market. For instance, In March 2022, IperionX Ltd, a leading American titanium metal and critical materials company announced that it has scaled titanium metal powder production at its Titanium Pilot Facility located in Utah using 100% recycled titanium metal as the feedstock in order to meet industry quality specifications.

The company mentioned that it is boosting its plans to build a new Titanium Demonstration Facility that is aimed to utilize 100% recycled scrap metal and produce low-carbon titanium metal powder. The company has aimed to achieve capacity of around 125 tonnes per annum. The company stated that the project will develop with a lumpsum investment of $82.1 million, phase.

Rising use of recycled steel

The increasing use of recycled steel is expected to boost the growth of the global metal recycling market during the forecast period. Steel is used 40 times more than any other metal without any loss of property. Steel recycling makes use of the earth’s natural resources more efficiently. As per the data published by the Material Recycling Association of India, the use of ferrous scrap can reduce CO2 emissions by 58%. Nealy 40% of the global steel production is made from scrap. As manufacturers focus on utilizing recycled steel to reduce the overall manufacturing cost of the manufacturing process, the market is expected to accelerate.


Lack of awareness

The lack of awareness of metal recycling in several middle and lower-income countries is likely to hamper the growth of the metal recycling market. The awareness of metal recycling is less compared to plastic and paper. Notably, the recycling of metals is important to improve the environment.

Issues with the management of the supply chain

The metal recycling market's expansion is anticipated to be constrained by the issues with management associated with the metal recycling supply chain during the forecast period. The unorganized flow of waste metals may adversely affect the market’s growth and it may pose a key challenge for the metal recycling market during the forecast period.


Increasing environmental concerns

The increasing environmental concern and rising use of recycled Non-ferrous metals are projected to impact the growth of the metal recycling market positively. The efficient utilization of natural resources can save the environment from several damages, which are likely to be caused by the extraction of metals and also save natural resources from depletion. The use of recycled Non-ferrous metals assists in reducing the carbon footprint.

For instance, according to the Material Recycling Association of India, Non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, Copper, Lead, Zinc, and precious metals are most commonly used. Secondary materials are crucial for the industry's survival for a longer period as even several new metals often require the combined use of recycled materials. Non-ferrous scrap is extensively used by foundries, refiners, smelters, ingot makers, and others Nearly 1.44 Mt of Nickel is produced globally annually. Of this total production, 0.35 Mt is recycled nickel, made from 4.5 Mt of scrap. 50 percent of the global Lead production is obtained from secondary lead.

The use of secondary Lead instead of ore reduces CO2 emissions by 99 percent. 30 percent of Copper production originated from copper scrap. The use of Copper scrap can reduce CO2 emissions by 65 percent. One-third of Aluminium demand is supplied by secondary production. The use of Aluminium scrap instead of bauxite can reduce CO2 emissions by 92 percent. Zinc is widely as a coating to protect iron and steel from corrosion. Secondary zinc production uses 76% less energy than primary.

Rise in the number of recycling plants

The rise in the number of recycling plants is projected to fuel the expansion of the metal recycling market. Several key players in metal recycling across the globe are partnering or collaborating to efficiently use natural resources for the betterment of the environment and save from scarcity. For instance, In August 2022, Tata Steel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Punjab government in India for setting up a 0.75 MnTPA long products steel plant with a scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF). The partnership perfectly aligns with the Company’s goal of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Recent Developments

  • In May 2023, Tata Steel and the UK’s Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (Larac) entered into a partnership to spread awareness of recycling steel packaging. Tara Steel will be responsible for providing information on how to recycle steel to over 300 local authorities across the United Kingdom.
  • In March 2023, Commercial Metals Company announced the acquisition of Roane Metals Group LLC (Roane). Roane has the capacity to process nearly 85,000 tons of ferrous and non-ferrous materials per year at its two facilities located in Tennessee.

Major Key Players

  • GFG Alliance
  • European Metal Recycling
  • CMC Recycling
  • Kimmel Scrap Iron & Metal Co. Inc.
  • Norsk Hydro ASA
  • Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  • Tata Steel
  • Novelis
  • Utah Metal Works
  • Sims Metal Management Limited

Market Segmentation

By Product

  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Others

By Application

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Industrial Goods
  • Consumer Goods
  • Others

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