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, Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2019 – 2026

Published Date: Dec 2019  |  Report ID: GMI4084  |  Authors: Kiran Pulidindi, Soumalya Chakraborty

Report Format: PDF   |   Pages: 446   |   Base Year: 2018

Summary Table of Contents Industry Coverage Methodology

Industry Trends

Global Iron Ore Pellets Market size was valued at over USD 60 billion in 2018 and is estimated to exhibit growth with around 5.5% CAGR from 2019 to 2026. Proliferating steel demand in the construction sector across the world is likely to drive market demand during the forecast period.

Global Iron Ore Pellets Market

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Iron ore pellets are spherical shaped agglomerates with iron (Fe) content ranging from 64% to 72% and are manufactured in a specialized pellet plant. These products are gaining considerable attention among steelmakers owing to their key advantage of being highly productive as compared to lumps or fines. The iron ore pellets market share will largely be affected by the increasing steel usage in many end-user industries such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, etc. in upcoming years.

Move towards carbon free steelmaking will increase product popularity among developed economies

Rising concerns over carbon footprint and efforts to reduce GHG emission will lead to the iron ore pellets market growth. Although steel represents approximately 7% of the total global emission level, the sector however has not been regulated by stringent norms and government policies. Thus, governments in many countries have now decided to increase carbon price on the recommendations from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

For instance, European countries have experienced threefold increase in the carbon prices, which is expected to increase substantially in the coming years. Such initiatives are directed towards the usage of carbon free production in steelmaking sector, which will further enhance the usage of the iron ore pellets over the foreseeable period.

Another key driving factor is excellent benefits of using iron ore pellets over its substitutes. The product possesses some key properties including, high abrasive resistance & mechanical strength and improves productivity together with reduction in coal consumption. Ongoing trend towards low carbon emission may create demand for the iron ore pellets market in forecast time span.

Though the product does not have any adverse effect on the environment, the challenges associated with the volatile raw material prices are expected to hamper the market development in coming years. The key reason behind this is oversupply caused by key manufacturers in the industry over the past few years.

Currently, the iron ore pellets market is facing uncertainties in terms of product supply owing to ongoing US-China trade war. Such factors are creating volatility in the market, which will directly impact the iron ore pellets industry demand in the coming years. However, rising steel consumption across major countries in Asia Pacific is expected to propel the industry development.

Direct Reduction (DR) grade pellets are gaining fast acceptance in emerging nations

Iron Ore Pellets Market by Grade

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Based on grade, the direct Reduction pellets will showcase a considerable growth rate over the projected timeframe. This is due to growing product usage among the countries in Middle East & Africa. Several more countries are likely to invest into DR grade pellet facilities over the coming years. The key reason behind the DR grade pellets industry development is rising penetration of steel in construction sector across MEA region.

This product offers key benefits of lower CO2 emissions, eliminates need for sintering and requires lesser space for steelmaking processes. Among the emerging economies in Asia Pacific, India is leading in DR grade iron ore pellet production.

Balling discs segment will have a significant growth in upcoming years owing to its ability to produce uniform sized iron ore pellets. These discs are light weight and can be operated for pelletizing operation where physical properties of iron ore varies continuously. Balling discs face challenge owing to their limited capacities, which may adversely affect iron ore pellets market revenue share in next few years. However, growing consumption of the high-quality iron ore pellets will create demand for balling disc technology in coming years.

According to application, the industry has been categorized into steel production and iron-based chemicals. Iron ore pellets are evolving in the chemical sector for producing certain products including ferric sulfate, ferric chloride, etc. that are used as coagulant in water treatment industry. Strict government regulations over use of hazardous chemicals in water treatment sector will drive the iron ore pellets market demand from 2019 to 2026.

Iron Ore Pellets Market Report Coverage
Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2018 Market Size in 2018: 63.06 Billion (USD)
Historical Data for: 2016 to 2018 Forecast Period: 2019 to 2026
Forecast Period 2019 to 2026 CAGR: 5.5% 2026 Value Projection: 96.30 Billion (USD)
Pages: 446 Tables, Charts & Figures: 318
Geographies covered (22): U.S., Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, France, Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, UAE
Segments covered: Grade, Technology, Iron Content, Pelletizing Process, & Region
Companies covered (15): Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Cleveland-Cliffs, Evraz, FERREXPO, Fortescue Metals, Jindal SAW Ltd, LKAB, Meinvest, Nordic Iron Ore AB, Rio Tinto, Samarco, Ternium, US Steel, Vale
Growth Drivers:
  • Shifting trend towards carbon less steelmaking across North America and Europe
  • Proliferating steel demand in the construction sector
  • Unfavorable government policies related to sintering activities in China
  • Increasing steel usage in the automotive industry
  • Superior product benefits as compared to lumps or sinter
Pitfalls & Challenges:
  • Lack of integration between steelmakers and pellet suppliers in Western countries
  • Availability of substitutes at reasonable rate
  • Volatile iron ore prices

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Expansion in Induction Furnace capacities will have positive impact on pellets sales

Iron Ore Pellets Market by Steelmaking Technology

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Based on steelmaking technology, electric induction furnace segment will be growing at significant rate in the projected timeframe owing to its rising consumption from the countries in Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific. Manufacturers based in these regions have planned to build capacities catering to Induction Furnace (IF) for steelmaking. Manufacturers in countries such as Iran, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and India among others have planned to build new capacities for induction furnaces, which will further propel the growth of iron ore pellets industry.

Magnetite ore pellets are gaining global popularity

Based on iron content, magnetite segment will hold a significant share from 2016 to 2026. These ores have more than 68% of Fe content and are considered as higher-grade iron ore. Magnetite offers cost effective and environmentally friendly solution to steelmakers as it reduces the production cost, improves productivity levels along with generating low carbon footprint. Other iron ores considered in the iron ore pellets market are goethite, limonite, etc. that will grow at considerable rate over in projected timeframe.

Travelling Grate pelletizing will be preferred choice of manufacturers

Travelling Grate (TG) pelletizing process segment is expected to account for a substantial share of iron ore pellets market analysis in the study timeframe. This process offers greater flexibility to the steelmakers as it is adaptable to wide range of feedstocks including hematite, magnetite, etc. Other pelletizing process considered in the market includes shaft furnace process, cold bonded process, etc. will have least share of market in coming years.

Stable steel production in China will create need for more pellets in the region

Iron Ore Pellets Market by Region

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Asia Pacific is expected to have the highest share of the overall iron ore pellets market value in the projected timeframe. This is due to increasing steel production in China over the past few years. India is also investing in building infrastructure for DR pellets due to growing efforts from the steelmakers to reduce alumina content that is generated at the manufacturing stage. Rising consumption of steel from the end-users including automotive, construction, consumer goods, etc. will further propel the regional share.

Key industry participants in the iron ore pellets market includes BHP Billiton, Cleveland-Cliffs, Vale, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and US Steel. The market size is dominated by major players, focusing on long term agreements with steelmakers and have an established base for iron ore mining & extraction activities.

Some of the key strategies adopted by these companies include production capacity expansion, and strategic partnerships & acquisitions. For instance, in May 2016, Cliff Natural Resources entered into a strategic agreement for supplying its iron ore pellets to ArcelorMittal USA LLC till 2026.

Iron ore pellets market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of volume in million tons and revenue in USD million from 2016 to 2026, for the following segments:

By Grade

  • Blast-furnace (BF)
  • Direct reducing (DR)

By Balling Technology

  • Balling Disc
  • Balling Drum

By Application

  • Steel production
  • Iron based chemicals

By Steelmaking Technology

  • Electric arc furnace (EAF)
  • Electric induction furnace (EIF)
  • Oxygen based/blast furnace

By Iron Content

  • Hematite
  • Magnetite
  • Others

By Pelletizing Process

  • Travelling Grate (TG)
  • Grate Kiln (GK)
  • Others

The above information is provided on a regional and country basis for the following:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • UK
    • France
    • Ukraine
    • Poland
    • Austria
    • Russia
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Malaysia
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • Middle East & Africa
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Iran
    • Turkey
    • UAE
    • Kuwait


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Iron ore pellets are spherical shaped agglomerates with iron (Fe) content ranging from 64% to 72%, and are manufactured in a specialized pellet plants. These products are gaining considerable attention among steelmakers owing to their key advantage of being highly productive as compared to lumps or fines.
Increasing steel production along with rising efforts from the steelmakers to reduce alumina content that is generated at the manufacturing stage is fueling the industry growth.
BHP Billiton, Cleveland-Cliffs, Vale, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and US Steel are key companies operating in the global market for iron ore pellets.

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