Prominent players in the global iron and steel slag market are entering into carefully considered collaborations with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in different end-use industries, namely building and construction, railways, fertilizers, etc. Some of the key players operating in the global iron and steel slag market are Steel Authority of India Limited, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Edw. C. Levy CO., Stein, Inc., JFE Steel Corporation, Arcelor Mittal, TATA Steel, NLMK, Harsco Corporation, POSCO, TMS International, and JSW Steel.
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A report by Transparency Market Research finds that the market for global iron and steel slag will likely expand at a tepid pace. It predicts the market to clock a CAGR of 2.7% from 2017 to 2025 to become worth US$29.896 bn by 2025 from US$23.463 bn in 2016.
Based on process, the global market for iron and steel slag can be segmented into blast furnace slag and steelmaking slag. The blast furnace slag can be further divided into granulated blast furnace slag and air cooled blast furnace slag. The steelmaking slag segment is further bifurcated into converter slag and electric arc furnace slag.
From a geographical standpoints, Asia Pacific leads the market with a majority share in it. In 2016, the region held about 80% share in the market, finds the TMR report. This is because of the increasing demand in the region on account of the swift pace of urbanization which has led to increasing construction activities. The rise in the number of nuclear families is also stoking growth in the market. Another factor proving beneficial to the market is the technical advancement and value added services. China and India are at the forefront of driving demand in the region.
Construction Industry Primary Growth Driver
At the forefront of driving the global market for iron and steel slag is the construction industry and stringent environmental emission control regulations. “Demand for iron and steel slag has been increasing mainly on account of the increase in demand for granulated or finely crushed slag, to obtain concrete upon mixture with Portland cement, in the construction industry. This concrete containing slag has numerous benefits. First, it ups the binding capacity of the cement, thus providing the necessary strength to hold large structures. Second, it can be employed as an aggregate in the manufacture of asphalt. With the growth of the population, the construction industry is practically flourishing in almost every corner of the world. This has upped the demand for a sustainable construction material such as asphalt. This in turn has benefitted the global market for iron and steel slag,” explains the lead analyst of the report.
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Technological Progress Benefits Market
In addition, progress in technology and value added services in specialized products are also major factors that help companies to gain advantage in the recycling or usage of iron and steel slag. Apart from that, constant efforts by manufacturers of iron and steel slag to properly utilize slag and research initiatives undertaken for producing specialized products for applications in end-user industries such as construction and railways are also proving advantageous to the market.
One factor posing a hindrance to the market, on the downside, is the surging sales of natural aggregates consisting of gravel, sand, and crushed stone which are abundantly available. However, environmental legislation and direct intervention from governments and international bodies has augmented the growth of the iron and steel slag market. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has modified and enforced various norms for proper recycling and utilization of iron and steel slag, rather than disposal of the same.
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