Stainless Steel Market Size, Share & Trend Report

Stainless Steel Market Size, Share & Trend Analysis Report By Grade, By Product, By Application (Construction, Heavy Industry, Transportation, Consumer Goods), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Jan, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-945-6
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2015
  • Number of Pages: 129

Industry Insights

The global stainless steel market size was valued at USD 85.45 billion in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period. Increasing R&D in stainless steel manufacturing to improve durability, corrosion resistance, and strength is expected to propel growth. Growing demand from end-use industries is also estimated to boost the market over the forecast period. 

The market is expected to witness high growth owing to a substantial increase in automobile and building and construction industries. Rising demand for automobiles in developing economies, such as India and China, is likely to be a key driver for the market. In addition, regulations concerning food safety are expected to fuel industry growth. Grade 316 is referred to as food grade stainless steel and it is majorly used in manufacturing utensils and machinery used in kitchens.

China stainless steel market

Properties such as corrosion resistance, tensile strength, and aesthetic appearance make stainless steel an essential raw material in the automobile industry. It is used in the manufacturing of components such as springs, hose clamps, and exhaust systems. The exceptional weldability and formability characteristics have facilitated its high utilization in lightweight vehicles. Grades 303, 304, and 316 are used in construction and heavy industry applications due to high corrosion resistance.

Chinese government policies are aimed at rationalizing excess capacity of stainless steel plants in the region, which in turn, is likely to affect the stainless steel industry dynamics over the forecast period. The growth in automotive and construction industries is attributed to increasing buying power and change in lifestyle of the people in the country.

Carbon fibers are widely replacing stainless steel in the automotive industry due to properties such as high strength, lightweight, and load-bearing capacities. Rising importance of lightweight vehicles to improve performance of automobiles has made carbon fiber the most desired material. Carbon fiber reduces automobile weight by 30%. Increasing use of carbon fiber is estimated to restrain the growth over the forecast period.

There has been a growing trend among automakers to form partnerships with carbon fiber manufacturers. For instance, in December 2011, General Motors signed an MoU with Teijin Ltd. to manufacture carbon composites to be used in its cars. In addition, Ford Motors has been working with Dow Chemical to develop efficient ways to bring carbon fiber to the industry.

Grade Insights

The stainless steel market has been categorized into four significant grades based on alloy composition: 200 series, 300 series, 400 series, and duplex. Cr-Ni alloy, also known as 300 series, accounted for 54.0% of the global volume in 2016. The 300 series grade exhibits high temperature resistance in comparison to the 200 series and this is expected to drive demand over the forecast period.

304 grade is widely used due to exceptional welding and forming characteristics. It is used for manufacturing equipment such as containers, sterilizers, milking machines, homogenizers, and storage and hauling tanks, along with railroad cars, milk trucks, valves, piping, fermentation vats, and yeast pans.

The 400 series accounted for 24.9% in terms of revenue in the global market in 2016. It has high carbon content, which gives it a martensitic crystalline structure. It is also prone to rust and corrosion at certain conditions. These factors are anticipated to boost the stainless steel industry growth over the forecast period.

In terms of revenue, the duplex series is likely to witness a CAGR of 6.4% from 2017 to 2025. Superior properties of this grade, such as high strength, low weight, and high corrosion resistance, particularly stress corrosion cracking, is anticipated to drive demand over the forecast period.

Product Insights

Long and flat products are available in different forms such as bars, tubes, sheets, billets, ingots, and rods. Long products find application in automotive, construction, energy, and mechanical engineering applications whereas flat products find application in coated steel, slabs, hot rolled coil, and cold rolled coil.

Flat products are typically utilized in packaging and appliances, tinplate, construction, heavy plates, and pipes and tubes. Increasing application in heavy industries is anticipated to drive its growth in the market. The segment accounted for a 73.4% revenue share in the global market in 2016.

Construction and automotive industries are dependent on flat products due to properties such as durability, recyclability, corrosion resistance, high ductility, higher strength, hardness, lower maintenance, higher hot strength, high cryogenic toughness, and attractive appearance.

Other products, namely precision strips, precision tubes, wires, rolled rings, and 3D forgings are typically used in the construction sector. However, demand from the transportation and automotive sector is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. The others segment accounted for 6.9% of the volume in 2016.

Application Insights

The global stainless steel market is categorized into four major applications: heavy industry, automotive and transportation, building and construction, and consumer goods. Demand from heavy industries accounted for a revenue share of 26.3% in 2016. The stainless steel industry is expected to witness growth due to requirement of materials with high corrosion resistance from the marine and shipbuilding sector.

Widespread application in heat exchangers, gas heaters, air handling units, and several other cooling, ventilation, and heating components is likely to propel market growth over the forecast period. In addition, it is an excellent material for commercial, industrial, and residential HVAC applications.

Automotive and transportation accounted for 26.7% of the revenue in the global stainless steel market. Surface treated sheets, namely electro galvanized and hot dipped galvanized sheets, are key products used in automobile production. These are used in basic vehicle frames for doors, mufflers, hoods, and fuel tanks. The advantageous properties of steel, such as mechanical strength, wear resistance, and firmness, and increasing demand for automobiles is estimated to drive the industry over the forecast period.

Global stainless steel market

Growing consumption of stainless steel in consumer goods such as showpieces, cookware, and stoves is anticipated to boost demand over the forecast period. Moreover, rising preference for utilization of alloys in consumer goods is expected to drive the stainless steel industry.

Regional Insights

The global market is largely driven by demand from application segments such as consumer goods, building and construction, and heavy industries. Growing infrastructure investments, coupled with favorable government policies in emerging economies, is likely to fuel demand for stainless steel. Demand for corrosion-resistant material with high tensile strength is projected to positively affect global demand.

Europe accounted for a 15.95% volume share in the global market in 2016. Growing construction sector in France, Germany, and U.K. is expected to fuel demand over the forecast period. Growing demand for consumer products is expected to have a positive impact on market growth. Presence of major manufacturers in this region is also driving the growth of the market in Europe.

U.S. dominated the North American market with a revenue share of 95.75% in 2016. Growth of the construction industry in U.S., along with rising application in heavy industries and consumer goods, is expected to positively impact the industry over the coming years.

Asia Pacific is the leading region in terms of manufacturing and consuming stainless steel. Presence of a large number of manufacturers in China, India, and Japan is expected to further boost this growth. Presence of raw materials such as nickel and iron ore is also expected to have a positive impact on the growth of this regional market. Increasing population, coupled with infrastructure investments, is expected to boost construction and automobile industries in this region, which in turn, is likely to drive the stainless steel industry growth over the forecast period.

Stainless Steel Market Share Insights

Aperam Stainless, North American Stainless, ArcelorMittal, Bristol Metals, Jindal Stainless, Mirach Metallurgy, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Steel, RTI Industries, Sandvik Materials, ThyssenKrupp Stainless, and Viraj are some of the key players involved in manufacturing and distribution of stainless steel. Leading companies have extensive manufacturing capacities spread across various countries worldwide.

Key strategies of prominent companies include technological innovation and new product development. Players are heavily investing in development of new products to sustain in the market. They are also collaborating with local players in emerging economies to expand their distribution network within the industry.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2015

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S., Germany, France, U.K., India, Japan, Brazil

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report

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

  • Grade Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • 200 series

    • 300 series

      • 303

      • 304

      • 316

    • 400 series

      • 410

      • 416

    • Duplex series

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

    • Long

    • Flat

    • Others

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

    • Building & construction

    • Heavy industry

    • Automotive & transportation

    • Consumer goods

    • Others

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

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

      • U.K.

    • China

    • Asia Pacific (Except China)

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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