Europe Iron Ore Pellets Market Growth was estimated at over USD 17 billion in 2019 and the market will grow at 3.0% CAGR up to 2026.
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The increasing focus of European government toward improving automotive & industrial production activities is set to augment the Europe iron ore pellets market growth. The European Union has taken several measures to safeguard itself from dumping & low cost imports of steel products from other countries and to support the domestic steel and iron industry. The introduction of a provisional 25% tariff on 26 categories of steel products for 200 days in July 2018 has resulted in an increase of continuous-cast steel output to 162.5 million tonnes in 2018. The apparent steel use for finished products in 2018, rose to 168.0 million tonnes from 164.0 million tonnes in 2017. However, the market saw a slight decrease in demand in 2019 owing to several critical geopolitical issues such as Brexit, economic slowdown, and higher imports from Turkey, China, & Russia.
COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the already slowing industry and has severely disrupted the region’s supply and demand chain. Major European mills are cutting output and idling blast furnaces amidst weak demand from the construction and automobile industries, that roughly accounted for almost 70% of the overall steel consumption in the region. In March 2020, Arcelor Mittal, a major steel producer in Germany, announced a cut in the output and the idling of one of its two blast furnaces. TATA Steel Europe also re-adjusted production operations in its mills in the Netherlands and the UK, highlighting towards weaker demand.
Government initiatives such as introduction of economic relief packages for automotive and other major industries are expected to showcase a rebound in the demand by 2021. For instance, in July 2020, the EU released state aid funds, which was granted to the automobile industry. The package includes USD 9.4 billion to aid electric vehicle adoption through car scrappage schemes and trade-in premiums for potential buyers.
Based on grade, market size is segmented into blast furnace and direct reduction. Blast furnace (BF) currently accounts for more than 85% of the iron ore pellets industry. The surging demand for BF grades in the iron pelletizing process can be attributed to the cost-effectiveness compared to the traditional direct reduction grades.
In terms of balling technology, the industry is segmented into balling drum and balling disc. The rising demand for balling disc palletization processes can be credited to increasing demand to produce high-quality iron ore pellets. Furthermore, the discs can be inclined at multiple positions & angles and depend on specifications required for producing the required characteristics & quality of iron ore pellets.
Steel production segment accounts for over 95% share in Europe iron ore pellets market size. The processes of balling or pelletizing are carried out through drums or discs that forms a major part of sustainably and efficiently produced steel from iron ores of varying sources. The improving infrastructure industry coupled with proliferating infrastructure projects and the manufacturing industry will play a major role in expanding the segment’s share.
Iron ore pellets find uses in multiple steelmaking technologies including electric induction furnace, oxygen-based blast furnace, and electric arc furnace. The oxygen-based blast furnace will witness over 2.5% CAGR in terms of revenue generation over the study timeframe. The efficient and optimum injection process will drive the segment share.
Based on the product source, market share is segmented into hematite, magnetite, and others. Magnetite and hematite are among the major iron ores available globally. The majority of hematite iron ores are subjected to simpler drying processes of beneficiation to comply with size requirements.
The grate kiln segment will witness over 2% CAGR in Europe iron ore pellets market size. The process enables the provision for a lower depth of bed relative to a straight grate. This allows for a significantly uniform and improved profile of temperature. Additionally, the system reduces pressure drop to a certain extent, which contributes toward reduced power consumption.
The major industry players are LKAB, Nordic Iron Ore, FERREXPO, Arcelor Mittal, and several others.