The scrap metal recycling market has not been exempted from the COVID-19 turmoil. Since the furlough scheme is evident in the U.K., many scrap yards have been shut down and are working at reduced capacities. The demand for scrap metal recycling has fallen since the coronavirus pandemic has caused disruptions in shipment of metals. The price of aluminum is underperforming, since nearly all the U.K. aluminum smelters have been closed.

Due to scarcity of scrap, some countries in the scrap metal recycling market such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Africa (SA) have imposed bans on the export of scrap metal. As such, some countries are becoming fully functional, which has reopened economies and led to the demand for metals including copper.

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Separation, Purification Costs of Recycling Scrap Copper to Hamper Market Growth

Copper is considered as a precious metal used in electrical components, owing to its ability to conduct electricity safely and efficiently. However, recyclers find it challenging to separate copper from scrap metal. Added purification costs for copper make it undesirable for recycling, since purified copper is necessary for maintaining the conductivity of the metal. Hence, companies in the scrap metal recycling market are establishing fixed sources for scrap copper to avoid additional purification and separation costs.

Apart from copper, iron and aluminum are largely recycled by companies in the scrap metal recycling market. Zato – an Italy-based specialist in scrap metal recycling is capitalizing on this opportunity to cost efficiently produce aluminum, which otherwise is a cost intensive process when done using extraction of the ore.

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Production of Steel from Iron Ore Necessary for Scrap Steel Supply

Steel is gaining prominence in the scrap metal recycling market due to its potential to meet the goal for a fully circular economy. ArcelorMittal S.A. – a Luxembourgish multinational steel manufacturing corporation is augmenting steel’s advantage of high recyclability to eliminate all unnecessary landfilling of residues. High cost of steel production as compared to the supplies of scrap available is grabbing the attention of manufacturers in the scrap metal recycling market.

Even as recycling activities are picking pace, recyclers are expecting that by the end of 2050, there might be a scarcity for scrap steel. Hence, the production of steel from iron ore sources needs continuation in order to create abundance for scrap steel in the upcoming decades.

Advanced Sorting Systems Enable High Throughput for Alloy Compositions

Intelligent sorting systems are benefitting stakeholders in the scrap metal recycling market. Chrysalix Venture Capital – an investor in the technologies for the energy sector has announced to invest in Sortera Alloy’s intelligent sorting system for the upcycling of non-ferrous scrap metal such as copper, zinc, aluminum, and brass. Recyclers are opting for sorting systems that enable accurate and high throughput for the sorting of metals and alloy composition through a combination of sensor fusion and AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) image processing.

Advanced scrap feeder designs are gaining prominence in intelligent sorting systems. Circularity of metals has become important in the scrap metal recycling market.

Demand for Non-ferrous Metals in India Automotive Manufacturing Boosts Market Growth

India holds lucrative revenue opportunities for companies in the scrap metal recycling market. India’s Ministry of Mines is working toward establishing a sustainable scrap recycling ecosystem with the adoption of cutting-edge technology and optimal processes. The region’s growing demand for metals has caught the attention of investors and other stakeholders in the scrap metal recycling market. The Indian Government’s Make in India initiative is aimed at boosting the manufacturing share of GDP by extending applications for non-ferrous metals in automotive, defense, and power industries.

Demand, production, and import of aluminum are gaining steady growth in India. Companies in the scrap metal recycling market are capitalizing on this opportunity, since recycling aluminum requires significantly less energy as compared to producing primary aluminum.

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