With applications across diverse sectors, the demand for carbon steel is forecast to rise at an accelerated pace in the coming years. It has emerged as an almost exclusive choice for building pipeline systems that are used to collect water, natural gas, or crude oil. It is also true for systems used to transport materials over long distances from couple of hundred feet to a few hundred miles.
With focus on infrastructural development surging across the globe, the global carbon steel market is forecast to witness steady growth between 2020 and 2030. As per Future Market Insights (FMI), the market’s valuation is forecast to surpass US$ 768 Bn by the end of 2020. In terms of value, the carbon steel market size is projected to showcase above 4% CAGR between 2020 and 2030.
Diverse Applications Driving Sales Prospects
Carbon steel has applications across diverse sectors, which has been aiding the expansion of the overall market. For instance, low carbon steel is often used for making fences, whereas the mild or medium carbon steel finds application in the construction of bridges and buildings.
High carbon steels are primarily used for making wires. Lastly, ultra high carbon steel, also known as “cast iron” is extensively used for making pans and pots.
Considering its aforementioned applications, the demand for carbon steel is forecast to rise in response to the surging investment toward infrastructural development. This holds especially true in case of countries across East and South Asia.
Consistently increasing construction spending in countries such as India, China, Japan, and South Korea has been enabling growth in the market.
Demand for Stronger Steel Aiding Growth
There are several factors driving shift from traditional to carbon steel, one of which is the latter’s increased strength. Using carbon makes steel or iron stronger by changing its crystal lattice. This has made carbon steel highly sought-after particularly in applications that require strength.
For instance, many centuries ago bladesmiths in Japan used high carbon steel called tamahagane steel to produce swords. More recently, due to their extreme hardness and improved resistance to wear and tear, high carbon steel is used to forge cutting tools with sharp edges.
These type of steel also finds application in the production of masonry nails that penetrate into super hard substances such as concrete blocks or bricks without bending. Besides these, carbon steel is a common material used in the production of various automotive components.
Apart from its various applications, thanks to technological innovations the market now has better quality carbon steel. With leading producers continuously focusing on catering to the dynamic end users, developments in quality is one of the key carbon steel market trends.
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With automotive and construction industries as key end users, the carbon steel market is finding itself vulnerable to the impact of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. Disruptions in supply chain witnessed across various industries, besides effect of extended period of lockdown and precautionary measures implemented by governments have put a dent on its sales proceeds.
Demand for automotive carbon steel and construction carbon steel alike has decelerated due to pandemic. This, coupled with difficulty in welding high carbon steel, might hamper the overall growth prospects of the market to an extent.
North America Carbon Steel Market
Growth witnessed in the North America market is expected to remain steady through the forecast period. The rising demand from the U.S has been reported, thanks to fiscal stimulus by government in 2018, which bolstered business confidence. Subsequently the country reported higher construction spending, which had bode well for the high carbon steel market.
According to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of construction put in place in the country increased by above 3% from 2017 to 2018.
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Europe Carbon Steel Market
Europe has emerged as a lucrative market for carbon steel. Sales reported in the region is primarily driven by the demand from the U.K., Germany, and France. These nations have been recording impressive spending on industrialization, which has been aiding the expansion of the Europe market. FMI in its recent study has forecast the Europe market to rise at above 3% CAGR over the course of the forecast period
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East Asia Carbon Steel Market
Accounting for above 48% of the global market, even as it grapples with the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, East Asia is forecast to remain the dominant carbon steel market through the forecast period. Expansion of ship building activities in China and elsewhere, coupled with impressive industrial output from automotive and construction sectors, have been aiding the expansion.
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Hot Rolled Carbon Steel Emerges Dominant
Based on form, the global market can be bifurcated into hot and cold rolled carbon steel. Of these, the hot roll carbon steel segment enjoys a clear dominance and is forecast to continue leading through the forecast period. The widespread uses of hot rolled steel bars for welding and construction activities to make I-beams and railroad tracks have been aiding expansion of this segment.
Also hot rolled carbon steel is typically more affordable than cold rolled steel due to the simple fact that it is manufactured with any delays in the process. As depicted in the image below, despite variance in price between both forms, it is interesting to note the similarity of price variance between regions.
Low Carbon Steel has Hegemony
Based on grade, low carbon steel is expected to continue leading the global market through the forecast period. Low carbon steel is a versatile metal with nearly 0.3% carbon content, which ensure that it is neither too ductile nor extremely brittle. Besides its versatility, low cost attached and easy manufacturing process have made low carbon steel among the most popular metals used for everyday jobs, from agriculture sector to heavy machinery industry.
Basic and Perforated Sheet Emerges Dominant
Basic and perforated carbon steel sheet has diverse uses, ranging from architecture to automobile industry. These sheet even find uses in food and beverages industry wherein perforated metal is integral to producing cheese molds, vegetable presses, and grain driers.
In the automotive sector, perforated carbon sheet metal is used in radiator grilles, air filtration, and engine ventilation among others. The segment is forecast to continue leading the market through the forecast period.
Construction Remains Key End User
Among end users, the construction industry accounts for the leading share in the market. Automotive sector trails as the second-leading end user for carbon steel. The construction segment is forecast to remain dominant, especially backed by the rising spending on infrastructural development witnessed across nations in Asia.
With mergers and acquisitions gaining momentum, FMI forecasts the global market for carbon steel to be leaning towards consolidation. Leading players are aiming at expansion of their facilities and product portfolios. Consequently, collaborations are seen as key strategic move by several companies seeking out competitive advantage.
For instance, in March 2020, Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., which is based in Cleveland, Ohio announced the completion of the acquisition of AK Steel Holding Corporation, which is headquartered in West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio. The deal was closed at US$ 1.1 Bn and the new company is slated to begin operations from an exclusive position of strength in North America.
In February 2020, C-Chem Co., Ltd., which is a subsidiary of NIPPON STEEL Chemical & Material Co., Ltd., alongside China-based Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd. (Fangda Carbon) announced the acquisition of Koppers (Jiangsu) Carbon Chemical Company Limited (KJCC).
Aside from these, some of the leading companies operating in the market are:
- JFE Steel Corporation
- Nippon Steel Corporation
- Baosteel Group
- Curtis Steel Co., Inc
- Bushwick Metals LLC
- ArcelorMittal SA,
- Omega Steel Company
- Afarak Group
The list is only indicative – full list of carbon steel market key players is available upon request.
Carbon Steel Market Report: Scope
Historical Data Available for
US$ Million for value and kilo tons for volume
Key Regions Covered
North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia & Pacific, and Middle East & Africa (MEA)
Key Countries Covered
US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, France, U.K., Spain, BENELUX, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, GCC Countries, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa
Key Segments Covered
Grade, Form, Application, End Use, Region
Key Companies Profiled
Nucor Corporation, ArcelorMittal, United States Steel Corporation, Baosteel Group, AK Steel Holding Corporation, EVRAZ, Hesteel Group, POSCO, Thyssenkrupp AG, JFE Holdings Corporation
Market Forecast, brand share analysis, competition intelligence, DROT analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, Strategic Growth Initiatives
Customization & Pricing
Key Questions Answered by the Report
- What is the carbon steel market size?
The global carbon steel market is forecast to surpass US$ 768 Bn by the end of 2020. The market is expected to rise at above 4% CAGR between 2020 and 2030
- Which is the largest market for carbon steel?
East Asia currently holds dominance in the global market. It will continue leading the market in the forthcoming years, backed by rising demand from construction and automotive industries in China, Japan, and other countries
- What is the popular strategic move among carbon steel market players?
Carbon steel market players are focusing on strategic collaborations besides mergers & acquisitions to gain competitive advantage. Spurred by this, the market is gradually leaning towards consolidation
- Who are the leading end users of carbon steel?
The construction industry accounts for the leading market share among end users. Automotive has emerged as the second-leading end-use industry in the carbon steel market
- Which is the most popular grade of carbon steel?
In terms of grade, low carbon steel has hegemony in the market due to its versatility and low cost.
- Which is the higher used form of carbon steel?
In terms of form, hot rolled carbon steel is witnessing higher demand than cold rolled steel. The hot rolled carbon steel segment is projected to dominate through the forecast period due to its rising application in construction activities
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- Is this research conducted by Future Market Insights?
Yes, the research has been conducted by expert analysts of Future Market Insights through a combination of primary research and secondary research. To know more about how the research was conducted, you can speak to research analyst
- What research methodology is followed by FMI?
FMI follows a methodology that encompasses demand side assessment of the market, and triangulates the same through supply side analysis. This methodology is based on use of standard market structure, methods and definitions.
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- Low-Grade Carbon Steel
- Medium-Grade Carbon Steel
- High-Grade Carbon Steel
- Ultra-High-Grade Carbon Steel
- Basic and Perforated Sheets
- Bars & Rebars
- Normal Plates and Floor Plate
- Pipes & Tubes
- Wire Rod
- Shipbuilding & Marine
- Heavy Engineering and Equipment
- Consumer Appliances
- Cutting Tools
- Hot-rolled carbon steel
- Cold-rolled carbon steel
- North America - US and Canada
- Latin America - Brazil, Mexico, the rest of Latin America
- East Asia - China, Japan, South Korea -
- Europe - BENELUX, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, the UK, the rest of Europe
- The Middle East and Africa - Northern Africa, South Africa, Turkey, GCC Countries, the rest of the Middle East and Africa
- South Asia and Pacific - India, Oceania, ASEAN, rest of South Asia and Pacific