Recycled Copper Market: Introduction

In terms of value, the global recycled copper market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.5%, in terms of volume, from 2020 to 2030. Green manufacturing practices and recycling of copper are being adopted by several manufacturers to meet the increasing demand for copper across the globe. The implementation of stringent regulations on CO2 emissions is expected to boost the production of recycled copper in the near future. Building & construction is the leading application segment of the global recycled copper market due to the increase in infrastructure development activities across the globe. Regulations on the usage of recycled copper in the industry are less stringent compared to those in automotive and electrical & electronics industries.

Lack of Consumer Awareness about Metal Recycling to Hamper Recycled Copper Market

The recycled copper market is hampered by scrap metal theft. Theft of metal scrap leads to substantial loss of precious metals present in the scrap. This, in turn, significantly affects the economy of the recycling industry. Lack of stringent rules and regulations to organize the flow of waste hinders the recycled copper market in developing countries. A dearth in consumer awareness about recycling of products hampers the scrap collection process. A negligible percentage of discarded electronic goods and household appliances is directed to scrap collectors in developing countries. Comparatively inferior quality and purity of secondary copper metal obtained from recycling is expected to hamper the demand for recycled copper during the forecast period.

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Building & Construction to Offer Lucrative Opportunities

Based on application, the global recycled copper market has been divided into building & construction, transportation, industrial machinery & equipment, electrical & electronic, and others. In terms of value, the building & construction segment dominated the global recycled copper market in 2019. The segment is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than 4% during the forecast period. Copper is used in building & construction applications due to its esthetic properties and high weather resistance. Copper, brass, and recycled copper are materials of choice for usage in plumbing, taps, valves, and fittings. The use of copper help prevent the transfer of microbes, as it possesses antimicrobial properties. Copper roofing, in addition to being attractive, is well-known for its resistance to extreme climatic conditions. The increase in demand for copper in the building & construction industry is estimated to drive the global recycled copper market during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to be Lucrative Region of Recycled Copper Market

Based on region, the global recycled copper market has been split into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of volume, Asia Pacific accounted for a significant share of the global recycled copper market in 2019. This trend is projected to continue during the forecast period.

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China is a leading producer and consumer of recycled copper in the region. India and China are the two leading economies in Asia Pacific. These countries are anticipated to offer immense opportunities to the recycled copper market in the near future. The demand for recycled copper is likely to rise significantly in the building & construction application segment in Asia Pacific during the forecast period due to rise in new construction activities; growth in refurbishing and renovation activities; and infrastructure development.

Europe is a high potential region of the global recycled copper market. According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), recycled copper accounts for around 50% of copper consumed in Europe. Companies in the region are focusing on introducing technologies to increase the efficiency of refining secondary (low grade) scrap and processing it into high purity copper scrap.

Competition Landscape

In May 2020, Aurubis AG acquired Metallo Group Holding, a Belgian-Spanish recycling company, for a purchase price of US$ 449.3 Mn. Metallo Group Holding was owned by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners. The acquisition signifies an important step in the implementation of Aurubis AG’s multimetal strategy and its aim to become efficient and sustainable smelter network in the world. In January 2018, the Commercial Metals Company announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire assets from Gerdau S.A., a producer of long and specialty steel products in the U.S. The acquisition includes 33 rebar fabrication facilities as well as steel mills located in Knoxville, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; Sayreville, New Jersey; and Rancho Cucamonga, California, with annual mill rolling capacity of 2.5 million tons.

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In May 2018, Sims Metal Management Ltd. acquired Morley Waste Traders and Lord and Midgley (Morley). The acquisition is likely to increase the number of its sites in the U.K. to more than 50. Leading players have taken initiatives to expand their presence through acquisitions, increase in recycling capacities, and strategic partnerships. Key manufacturers operating in the global recycled copper market are Aurubis AG, Commercial Metals Company, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Umicore N.V., Kuusakoski Group Oy, Sims Metal Management Ltd., OmniSource, LLC, Elgin Recycling, Pacific Metal Pty Ltd, Aaron Metals, Universal Recycling, Wilton Recycling, SA Recycling LLC, European Recycled Metal, and LKM Recycling.

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