The global base metals market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future, and register a significant CAGR of 5.0% over the forecast period (2019 – 2027).
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Base metals are common metals that are inexpensive and are widely used in commercial and industrial applications such as construction and manufacturing. The most common base metals include, iron, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, tin, and aluminum. Base metals are often known as the building blocks of infrastructure. Copper is commonly used in electrical wiring because of its high ductility and conductivity. Lead is used as a dependable source for batteries, zinc is used to coat galvanized steel, and nickel is used to strengthen and harden metal alloys. Iron is the most widely used of all the metals. Aluminum majorly finds application in the food and beverages industry.
Significant demand for iron, copper, aluminum, and alloys such as steel in the end-use industries such as construction, ship building, food and beverages, glass, paints and coatings, and others is expected to contribute to the market size. Iron is used in the construction of machinery and machine tools, rails, automobiles, ship hulls, concrete reinforcing bars, and the load-carrying framework of buildings. Aluminum is used to make foils that are used in the food and beverages industry to manufacture cans. It is also used in production of automobiles, marine vessels, aircrafts, and building construction materials.
However, increasing emission of greenhouse gases during processing of base metals and manufacturing of products using base metals is expected to restrict the market growth to certain extent. This is majorly attributed to increasing regulations imposed by several governments to mitigate the impact of global warming on the environment. The emission of greenhouse gases is a result of electrical consumption of the smelters and the byproducts of processing. Release of sulfur dioxide in such process can lead to acid rain. Accumulation of lead in soils can inhibit plant growth and survival and also have adverse effects on the food chain as lead exhibits toxicity.
Increasing adopting of nanotechnology is various fields such as healthcare and robotics is expected to boost growth of the market. Key players in the market can focus on adopting strategies such as collaboration and partnerships with healthcare, robotics, and other such sectors that use the emerging nanotechnology, in order to enhance their market share. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are widely used in electronics and the delivery of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market in the global base metals market. This is attributed to significant growth in the construction industry in economies such as India and China. China is the largest zinc producer followed by Australia, Peru, the U.S. and India. Latin America is the largest copper producing region, while Asia Pacific is the largest consumer.
Some of the key players operating in the global base metals market include, McMoRan Copper and Gold, Rio Tinto, Teck Resources, and Nyrstar.
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