The high strength steel market is expected to register a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period. The primary factors driving the growth of the market studied are growing usage in different industrial applications and increasing demand from aerospace industry.
- Declining automotive production across the globe is likely to hinder the market’s growth.
- The automotive segment dominated the market, and is likely to witness significant growth during the forecast period. This is primarily due to innovation and development, along with an increase in the production of light-weight vehicles across the world.
- The Asia-Pacific region dominated the high speed steel market over the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Automotive Industry to Dominate the Market
- The automotive industry accounts for approximately 25% of the usage of high-speed steel in numerous applications. High-speed steel is used in wide range of applications in the automotive sector, to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle and increase the stiffness and energy absorption in some areas.
- High-speed steel possess various properties that enhance their demand in the automotive sector such as mechanical properties and ranges, thickness and width capabilities, hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and coating availability, and chemical composition specifications.
- In general, the strength of a steel in the automotive sector is controlled by its microstructure, which differs according to its chemical composition, its thermal history, and the deformation processes it undergoes during its production schedule.
- High-speed steel provides several advantages over conventional steels, especially when weight is considered an important factor for fuel efficiency in the automotive sector. Their mechanical properties, weldability, fatigue, static strength, cathodic protection, and hydrogen embrittlement performance are proving to be a boon for the automobile industry.
- It is used in structural applications, such as camshaft and crankshaft sprockets, connecting rods, synchronizer rings, bearing caps, oil pump gears, etc. The stainless steel used in applications include engine valve seats. Ferrous-based alloys, such as Fe-Cr-Mn-Si materials are used in shock absorber parts, filters for hydraulic systems, manifold flanges, exhaust converter outlet flanges, and exhaust gas recirculatory systems.
- In the recent past, the global automotive industry has took a hit due to many reasons such as US-China trade war and COVID-19. However, by the end of 2020, it is anticipated that the automotive industry will recover from this downfall.
- Overall, increasing usage of high-speed steel for better fuel efficiency and light weight vehicles will boost the market growth in the automotive industry.
China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market
- In Asia-Pacific region, China is the largest economy, in terms of GDP. The country witnessed about 6.1% growth in its GDP during 2019, even after the trade disturbance caused due to its trade war with the United States. The outbreak of COVID-19 has further affected the economy at present. The GDP growth is expected to dip significantly after the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the country is expected to rise from such fluctuations in economic performance over the forecast period.
- The automotive industry is one of the key manufacturing sector in the country. The country produces more than half of the automobile in the Asia-Pacific region. However the country is facing slowdown in the production from past two years. In 2018 the production declined by 4.2% and in 2019, it declined by 7.5%. This is due to the low domestic demand, high labor cost, penetration of manufacturing facilities to other Asian countries, US-China trade war and recently occurred COVID-19 outbreak.
- These factors are expected to negatively affect the automotive manufacturing and is likely to affect the demand for high-speed steel from the automotive industry.
- The new automotive purchases in China declined for 20 straight months (till February of 2020) halting a growth march that had started in the 1990s. This situation had its impact on the demand of high-speed steel tools in automotive applications and is successful in presenting challenges to the market. However there are chances of improvement in automotive industry outlook in China during the forecast period, which might induce positivity in the domestic market.
- The aircraft parts and assembly manufacturing sector in the country is growing at a rapid pace, with the presence of over 200 small aircraft parts manufacturers. Major manufacturers are concentrated in Nanchang, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Harbin, Shijiazhuang, and Shenyang. The Chinese aerospace policy represents one of the most comprehensive attempts to enter the top levels of aerospace development and production. China is expected to be the world’s largest single‐country market for civil aircraft sales, over the next 20 years.
- Such developments are expected to contribute to the demand for high-speed steel in the country during the forecast period.
The global high speed steel market is partially consolidated with the major players accounting for a large share of the market. Some of the key players in the market include ERASTEEL, Heye, NIPPON KOSHUHA STEEL CO., LTD., voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, and Sandvik AB, among others.
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