According to the Graphical Research new growth forecast report titled “Asia Pacific Iron Ore Pellets Market Size, By Grade (Blast Furnace, Direct Reduction), By Balling Technology (Balling Disc, Balling Drum), By Application (Steel Production, Iron-based Chemicals), By Steelmaking Technology (Electric Arc Furnace, Electric Induction Furnace, Oxygen-based/Blast Furnace), By Product Source (Hematite, Magnetite), By Pelletizing Process (Travelling Grate, Grate Kiln), Industry Analysis Report, Country Outlook, Application Potential, Price Trend, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2020 – 2026”, to Witness Vast Growth by 2026
Asia Pacific is one of the largest producers and consumers of steel & iron products across the globe. As of 2019, Asia as a whole accounted for almost 68% of the global steel consumption with China alone accounting for the majority of 48%. One of the driving forces for Asia Pacific iron ore pellets market size is a high concentration of product manufacturers in the region. Large-scale economies including China and India have experienced significant growth in crude steel production from 920.0 million tonnes in 2018 to 996.3 million tonnes in 2019 for China and 109.3 million tonnes in 2018 to 111.2 million tonnes in 2019 for India. Apart from India, China, Japan, & South Korea, smaller ASEAN economies are also experiencing high growth owing to several government initiatives and rising urbanization.
However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the region has experienced a slump in demand owing to the initial closure of many manufacturing facilities as the virus is contagious. Weaker demand from manufacturing facilities in the automotive and construction sectors has also resulted in major disruption in the iron ore pellets supply chain. The Chinese market has shown some signs of recovery as the domestic market witnessed control in the spread of the virus after initial harsh lockdowns, which allowed the country to resume operations quicker.
The direct reduction grade is expected to witness over 4.5% CAGR in market size owing to superior quality iron output. The grade is ideal for use as feedstock for electric furnaces. The method can produce 97% pure iron. The balling drum is expected to host a sizeable share as it can process larger quantities with relatively high-quality at a fast pace and with greater consistency. Despite increasing popularity, the surging phenomenon is expected to limit segment growth over forecast timeframe.
Iron ore pellets despite being prominently used in steel production are also finding applications in the manufacturing of iron-based chemicals and coagulants. Coagulants are available in varied specifications, such as ferric sulfate, ferric chloride, & ferrous sulfate, and are used in new applications such as metal treatments.
By technology, oxygen-based/blast furnace held over 70% share in Asia Pacific iron ore pellets market size. The technology allows easier injection of a high amount of natural gas. The optimal injection of pulverized natural gas and coal will significantly reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining enough energy supply for downstream processes.
The magnetite segment will witness over 4% CAGR as magnetite ore usually contains around 72.4% iron content. The final products produced from such ores are of higher quality compared to hematite ores. Furthermore, the ore also contains fewer impurities, thereby elevating the cost of processing of such ores.
The grate kiln process accounts for a sizeable share in Asia Pacific iron ore pellets industry and is expected to grow at a moderate pace. The process also uses a shorter grate and this facilitates the occurrence of oxidation and sintering in the kiln. In the kiln, pellets are then taken into the final indurating temp, yielding consistent results.
Industry players are engaged in research, mergers, and ventures to expand their product portfolio to gain a sizeable share. In December 2019, Vale, a Brazilian company, partnered with Ningbo Zhoushan, a Chinese company, to launch an iron ore product, GF88. Major manufacturers in Asia Pacific Iron Ore Pellets Market include TATA Steel, Vale, Mitsubishi Corporation, Kobe Steel, AM/NS, Sumimoto Metal Mining Co., Ltd., and several others.