HBI Market

Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI): Introduction

  • Hot briquetted iron (HBI) is a form of direct reduced iron (DRI) with high iron content (>90%), high density greater than 5,000 kilograms per cubic meter, and has compaction temperature greater than 650°C
  • HBI is produced by reducing iron ore with natural gas in the form of briquettes. These briquettes are produced using the fluid bed process under temperature of 700°C and high pressing forces. HBI is used as a supplement scrap for electric furnace steel mills and pig iron.

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Key Drivers and Restraints of Global Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) Market

  • Rise in demand for HBI to overcome issues associated with DRI during shipping and handling is driving the HBI market. Compaction process of HBI is less porous and reactive than DRI; therefore, it does not create self-heating issues. This, in turn, is anticipated to propel the demand for the global HBI market during the forecast period.
  • Most manufacturers of steel across the globe are shifting their modes of production of steel from traditional blast furnace technology to electric furnace process due to increasing environmental pollution. This is expected to propel the demand for HBI during the forecast period.
  • Rise in research & development activities and increase in capacity expansion by key players operating in the market are expected to increase competition among players. This is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the market in the near future.
  • Increase in usage of HBI in blast furnace operations boosts productivity and reduces coke consumption. This is projected to augment the demand for HBI during the forecast period.
  • High production cost and lack of consumer awareness are likely to hamper the global HBI market during the forecast period

Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI): Process Segment

  • Based on process, the HBI market can be segmented into gas and coal
  • The gas segment dominates the global HBI market owing to the easy availability of natural gas in developed regions. The segment is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period.
  • The coal segment is projected to expand at a slower pace due to its adverse environmental impact. No proven carbon capture system exists for blast furnaces; thus, Co2 is emitted in the atmosphere, thus adversely impacting the environment.

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Covid-19 Impact on Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) Market

  • On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Originating in China, the virus has spread to at least 213 countries and territories around the world.
  • Several governments and private sector businesses are operating at a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely due to recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Decrease in industrial activities due to the pandemic has been adversely impacting the global HBI market

North America Dominates Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) Market

  • In terms of region, the global HBI market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • North America is a leading consumer of HBI, followed by Asia Pacific. The market in North America is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
  • Rise in stringent regulations on carbon emission during steel production in the U.S. is encouraging manufacturers to adopt environmentally-friendly technologies. For instance, major steel producers such as Nucor and ArcelorMittal are shifting their production volumes from blast furnace to HBI technology. This is anticipated to propel the global HBI market in the U.S. during the forecast period.
  • Growth in industrialization in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam is expected to propel the demand for HBI for steel making processes in Asia Pacific
  • Revival of the economy in Europe is expected to create lucrative opportunities for HBI manufacturers that operate in the region
  • Latin America and Middle East & Africa are also estimated to create lucrative opportunities for the global HBI market.  These regions are rich in natural gas, which is an essential source for HBI production.

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