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Worldwide Demand for Recycled Metals on the Rise In 2017

Posted on 23 February 2017

Worldwide, industry statistics show that stockpiles of metal ores are reducing in volume. As such, the metal recycling market is being challenged with greater demand. And to replenish shrinking stockpiles of metal, the market is relying more and more on the recovery of scrap metals from end-of-life products. Reusing recycled metals as raw material for new products is fast becoming the norm. It’s a win-win scenario – raw resources are being conserved; energy is being saved; and overall pollution levels are being reduced.

The bottom line for recyclers is supply and demand – and that entails market dynamics, regional undercurrents, and for most, competitive position in the market. The fact is, industry has come to realize that there are massive savings to be had by using recycled metals rather virgin ores. And while this is enhancing demand, there are still global issues relative to gathering and assembling recycled materials. Simply put, waste disposal methods around the world could be doing much better in terms of organized collection.

For municipalities, efficiently segregating ferrous and non-ferrous metals from general waste can be expensive. However, as waste segregation becomes a much higher priority, and cost/benefit makes more economic sense, the metal recycling market will be bolstered. This is of particular relevancy in the Asia Pacific region, where there are high adoption rates for metal recycling, and noteworthy market growth. As it is, India, China, and Japan are leading the way as aggressive importers of scrap metals of all types.

Another favorable factor for international metal recycling is the inclination to ease trade rules for the importation of scrap metals. This in itself will provide stronger opportunities in global metal recycling. Additionally, in more advanced economies like North America and Europe, the growing emphasis on reducing carbon footprints will further establish the applicability of metal recycling. In short, increased waste disposal regulations and more recycling laws will reinforce the efficacy of metal recycling internationally.

With respect to Canada, companies that are directly engaged in metal recycling do business in the domestic market as well as the international market, where large processors handle the higher volumes of recycled tonnage. Many industrial sectors actually generate a high amount of their own waste metal while they produce their own products. What’s common for every industry, though, is the bottom line, and supply and demand will always dictate the profitability and cost-effectiveness of metal recycling.

Profitability or not, the benefits of metal recycling to the domestic economy also has an impact on the nation’s way of life. And this impact can be quite far reaching, especially since environmental concerns have become so high profile. Recycling metal means that the demand on landfill sites is dramatically reduced. It means that there is far less need to incinerate certain types of waste. And it means that industry has less of a reliance on mining and processing virgin ore. Those supply and demand dynamics also result in more and more consumer goods being manufactured with recycled metal.

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