Flat Steel Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Flat Steel Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Sheet & Strips, Plates), By Material (Carbon, Alloy, Stainless, Tool), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Aug, 2017
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-988-3
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 136

Industry Insights

The global flat steel market size was valued at USD 741.00 billion in 2016. Massive use in construction, automotive, and mechanical equipment is expected to elevate the demand in the market. 

Iron and steel industry is considered as the backbone of the economy portraying the performance and development of the country. It is the most extensively used and recyclable material on earth. GDP growth of an economy significantly depends upon the industrialization in that region. Rapid industrialization in developing economies is likely to facilitate increase in the demand from several consumer products.

Asia Pacific flat steel market revenue, by application, 2014 - 2025 (USD Billion)

Asia Pacific flat steel market

Rapid urbanization, growing industrialization, rising level of disposable income of middle-class families in emerging economies, and growing global population are projected to be the major market driver for the industry. In India, more than 25.0% of the total investment has been made in infrastructure since 2012. This trend is expected to grow over the coming years, thereby having a positive impact on the industry.

The price of iron ore is very volatile in nature due to the replacement of annual benchmark pricing system with quarterly pricing system. With such pricing system, raw material producers targeted to gain full benefits of the upper spot price of raw material rather than limited by annual contracts which are anticipated to restrain market growth. Prices of raw materials are generally based on the key players operating in the flat steel market, which is likely to affect the product process in the coming years.

Flat products are supplied through direct supply agreement or third-party supply agreements. Many of the manufacturers adopt the forward integration technique which enables them to sell their products directly to their customers. Companies such as Tata Steel Limited and Essar have their own distribution channel.

Manufacturers continue to face significant trade challenges from foreign government trade-distorting policies and practices. Emissions controls for iron production process are more than six times as strict in the U.S. compared to China. A more aggressive U.S. trade policy is needed to combat these foreign trade-distorting practices to preserve and strengthen nation’s manufacturing base

Product Insights

Sheets & strips accounted for the largest market share of 63.2% in 2016. It can be made from different types of materials including carbon, alloy, stainless and tool depending on the applications. These are used in industrial applications, architecture, and transport industries on account of its benefits such as corrosion resistant, good adhesive & welding properties, light weight and strong 

Sheets are classified into two types including hot rolled and cold rolled sheet. Cold rolled sheets are best suitable for electrical appliances and automobile due to wider workable ranges from general use to commercial application. Carbon sheet is used in various machine structure applications such as chain parts, automotive AT parts, automotive clutch parts, sprocket gears and automotive seat belt parts.

The steel plates are generally more than 3/16 inch thick and are produced on either discrete plate mill or a coiled plate mill. Special plates including low-alloy, heat-treated and high strength are designed for particular application such as logging equipment and mining.

Plates accounted for the market share of 36.8%, in terms of volume, in 2016. Plates are used in applications including bridge, building, ship building, offshore structure, hydro power station, storage tanks, boiler & pressure vessels and machinery owning to properties such as high tensile strength, atmospheric corrosion resistant, seawater resistant and abrasion resistant.

Material Insights

Carbon segment is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.4%, in terms of revenue, over the forecast period. It is considered as the most popular construction material across the globe and its cost efficiency, recyclability, and durability are anticipated to drive the demand over the forecast period.

Demand for carbon flat products from end-use industries is expected to rise due to its advantages compared to other materials such as resistance to shock & corrosion, cost efficiency, environment friendly and safety. Major growing end-use industries of carbon steel such as automotive and construction is likely to drive the utilization over the next eight years.

The global flat steel market revenue by material, 2016 (%)

global flat steel market

Alloy segment accounted for 37.8% share, in terms of revenue, in 2016. Use of material in automotive and mechanical equipment industry is expected to grow due to presence of different materials and metals to improve their properties. Presence of chromium, nickel, molybdenum and silicon makes it more important for automotive and machinery sector.

Stainless steel has advantageous properties when compared to other materials such as higher cryogenic toughness, higher hot strength, higher corrosion resistance, higher ductility, more attractive appearance, higher strength and hardness and lower maintenance. Such properties of the material are expected to develop new opportunities for its utilization in structural components of vehicles.

Application Insights

Automobile and other transport segment accounted for a share of 48.3%, in terms of revenue in 2016. The application of flat products has allowed automobile producers to achieve anticipated standards of strength and protection for their vehicles at comparatively low costs when compared with other materials. However, rising focus towards fuel efficiency and weight reduction of automobiles is expected to limit the market growth in automotive application over the forecast period.

Demand for flat steel products in building & infrastructure application segment is expected to at fastest CAGR of 3.8%, in terms of volume, from 2017 to 2025 on account of its high mechanical strength, toughness and weldability. Excellent features of carbon steel based cold rolled, hot rolled, and galvanized flat products make it suitable for construction of light as well as heavy components.

Iron & steel makes up about 70.0% of an automobile’s weight. According to World Steel Association estimates, automotive sector accounts for almost 12.0% of the global steel consumption. ArcelorMittal is one of the key producers of automotive steel.

ArcelorMittal accounted for about 16.7% of the global automotive sheet market in 2014. However, penetration of flat products in automotive & other transport application segment due to the replacement of the product with other lightweight materials in order to improve fuel efficiency.

Regional Insights

North American market is valued at USD 86.31 billion in 2016. Construction application accounted for about 49.43% of the market. In North America, the construction industry is expected to grow on account of massive investment opportunities in U.S. and Canada.

Europe was the third major market accounting for a revenue share of 18.6% in 2016. Rising demand for flat products owing to growing industries such as construction, automotive, transportation, and machinery industry in developed countries including Germany and UK is expected to drive the market demand.In 2016, Germany flat products export volume was 13.1 million metric tons, which was more than 50.0% of country’s total steel exports. 

The industrial outlook in Europe remains controlled by constant macroeconomic uncertainties. Although Europe has witnessed economic imbalances in the past few years, the situation is expected to stabilize over the coming years. Numerous companies in Germany have made long term investments in inland waterway and rail infrastructure. Such investments are expected to boost market demand over the forecast period

Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for flat products. Countries such as China, India, and Japan are expected to witness high growth rates owing to rising demand from the large population. China was the world’s largest steel exporter in 2016; flat products accounted for 42.0% (44.9 million metric tons) of the total exports.

Flat Steel Market Share Insights

The industry is highly competitive with the presence of a large number of multinational manufacturers operating their businesses through high production volumes. The companies in the global market are highly integrated from the production of flat steel products to the sales and distribution to various locations.

The companies such as Tata Steel Limited, ArcelorMittal, United States Steel Corporation, and Voestalpine Group operate their business through extremely high production capacities spread across the globe. Distribution channels cater to the local as well as global demand and the market has witnessed high volume of cross-border trade.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation                                                 

Volume in million tons, revenue in USD Billion and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S., Germany, UK, China, Japan, India, Brazil

Report coverage             

Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis of the market trends in each of the sub-markets from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the flat steel market on the basis of product, material, application and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Sheet & strips

    • Plates

  • Material Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Carbon steel

    • Alloy steel

    • Stainless steel

    • Tool steel

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Building & infrastructure

    • Automotive & other transport

    • Mechanical equipment

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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