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Stainless steel market size & trends

2024-02-21

The global stainless steel market size was estimated at USD 117.63 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% from 2024 to 2030. Private and public investments in infrastructure, as well as residential housing are likely to provide a boost to stainless steel (SS) demand. Stainless steel is an important material in industrial applications, such as building & construction, infrastructure, railways, automotive & transportation, and process industries. Stainless steel has a unique edge over carbon steel as it has a combination of properties, such as pliability, strength, corrosion resistance, aesthetic properties, low maintenance cost, and average product life cycle.


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These properties along with increasing penetration in numerous applications is anticipated to drive market growth. The U.S. market growth is expected to be driven by demand in mechanical, chemical, and energy applications. These applications are diverse in range and include the oil industry’s tubulars, heat exchangers, heat vessels, boiler used in power plants, furnace plants, and components used in processing machineries of pulp & paper, chemical and food & beverage industries. Building & construction is one of the important product applications. The segment accounted for a volume share of 11.3% in overall U.S. stainless steel market demand.


For structural purpose, SS products are used in beams, columns, and general architectural applications. It is used in railings, roofing, lifts, staircases, swimming pool shades, canopies, and atriums among others. In November, the Biden government introduced USD 2 trillion plan for infrastructure. It includes heavy fund allocation for repair and renovation of bridges, highways, EV charging facilities, airports, water infrastructure, communication networks, high-speed internets, clean energy & environment, and carbon reduction. This plan is likely to assist the SS demand for structural applications in infrastructure and construction.


Stainless steel market prices are highly influenced by factors such as shipping & labor costs, currency fluctuations, elasticity of demand & supply, and trade-related tariffs. Since 2023, various geopolitical conflicts in Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Horn of Africa have strained routes of shipping, thereby increasing freight costs, which in turn have added to soaring stainless steel prices.


Market Concentration & Characteristics

Market growth is driven by rising investments in the real estate sector, especially for the non-residential segment. This leads end-users to spend increasingly on pipes & fittings, HVAC system, cookware’s, plates, other products, such as staircase to enhance aesthetic appeal of their homes.


With growing demand patterns, companies such as Jindal Steel and Daido Steel are increasing their production capacities. Moreover, the industry is largely characterized by dominance of regional players, leading within their respective regional markets.


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