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Recycled metals outlook: ‘plentiful opportunities’

The global recycled metals market is forecast to exceed US$ 125 billion (EUR 111 billion) by 2024, market analysts have revealed.

The recycled non-ferrous metal market was worth more than US$ 90 billion last year, says research firm Global Market Insights, with the automotive and electronics industries being the major users. In North America alone, the electrical and electronics industry was valued at more than US$ 900 billion in 2017.

Strong consumer demand and intense production in this sector will continue to drive reprocessed metal demand in the near future, say the analysts. Lead batteries are major products in the transport industry, making up approximately 35% of the total industry share in terms of volume in 2017. Meanwhile, recycled metal had a 45% market share in the building and construction industry that year.

Even so, market analysts observe that ‘ineffective’ metal reprocessing is a ‘key constraint’ for the recycling industry worldwide. For instance, only 40% of all copper produced is reclaimed by recyclers. In the case of aluminium, only 33% of the total metal output is recovered.

‘Nevertheless, a growing emphasis on metal processing and reusability to reduce carbon footprint, and the impact of hazardous waste, will generate plentiful opportunities for the reprocessed metal market by 2024,’ the analysts conclude.

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