The global base metal market is expected to register a CAGR of about 5% during the forecast period. The factor driving the growth of the market studied is the increasing demand from the construction industry. Furthermore, stringent regulations associated with mining and unfavorable conditions arising due to the COVID-19 outbreak are hindering the market’s growth.
- Excellent properties of base metals, like high strength, corrosion resistance, low maintenance, and longevity, are estimated to drive the market’s growth.
- Increasing demand from the electric vehicle (EV) production sector can offer various opportunities for the market’s growth.
- The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market, with largest consumption from China.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand from the Construction Industry
- Chosen for their durability and strength, base metals used in the construction industry serve a wide range of functions. The most common of them are aluminum and copper.
- Aluminum is commonly used in the construction industry because it is resistant to corrosion, highly conductive, and ductile. Due to its resistance to harsh weather, the metal is used in windows, doors, and wire, as well as outdoor signage and street lights. The metal is processed into sheets, tubes, and castings. HVAC ducts, roofs, walling, and handles are made of aluminum. Furthermore, they are frequently found in the construction industry.
- Copper-based tubing is often used to construct pipes in buildings. Copper is a ductile and malleable metal, and it is resistant to corrosion from water and soil. It is also recyclable. Copper tubing is easily soldered, forming lasting bonds. All of these properties make this metal ideal for piping and tubing. Rigid copper tubing is ideal for hot and cold tap water pipes in buildings, while soft copper tubing is frequently used to make refrigerant lines in HVAC systems and heat pumps.
- The Asia-Pacific region will continue to account for the largest share of the global construction industry, indicating the largest consuming region for base metals. However, the pace of growth will slow, given the slowdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- The North American construction industry will be driven by activities in the United States. Major infrastructure projects in the United States that are expected to be completed over the forecast period include Baltimore-Washington Airport, Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Columbus Airport, Dreamport Villages Amusement Park, TSX Broadway, etc.
- The Middle East and African region is projected to be the fastest growing region. Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have suffered from the weakness in oil prices in recent years, greatly reducing government revenues. As oil prices pick up, large-scale investments in infrastructure projects will be a key driving force behind the construction sector's growth in the region.
The Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
- The Asia-Pacific region is porjected to be the largest market for base metals during the forecast period. The increasing investments in the construction industry, rising electrical and electronics production, and surging demand for heavy equipment, with multinational companies investing in the industrial sector, are some of the major factors driving the demand for base metals in the region.
- China emerged as the largest construction market in the world. As the government planned to focus on improving the infrastructure in small and medium-sized cities, the construction industry was porjected to maintain a continuous growth of around 5%, annually. The National Development and Reform Commission of China authorized plans to build infrastructure projects in China and approved the construction of 7 projects with a total investment of ~USD 72 billion, in January 2019.
- China is also the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. Even though the Chinese automotive market declined in 2019, the electric vehicle segment witnessed a huge growth.
- Copper, tin, nickel and aluminum are some common metals used by the electronics industry. The Asian region is the largest producer of electrical & electronics across the globe with countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia dominating at the global level.
- Hence, all such favorable trends and investments in the region are expected to drive the demand for base metals during the forecast period..
The global base metals market is fragmented. The major companies in the market studied include Glencore, Freeport-McMoRan, Alcoa Corporation, Lundin Mining Corporation, and BHP, among others.
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