The Global Market for Metals, Precious Metals, and Recycled Metals

Published - Feb 2009| Analyst - Leslie Burk| Code - AVM068A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for secondary and mined metal was worth $715.0 billion in 2007 and $649.4 billion in 2008. This should reach $894.2 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6%.
  • The transportation end-user segment has the largest share of the market, worth $140.7 billion in 2008. This should reach $176.5 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 4.6%.
  • Building and construction applications have the second largest market share, generating $115.5 billion in 2008. This should increase at a CAGR of 5.8% to reach $153.4 billion in 2013.



This study intends to provide a detailed analysis of the current and forecasted global market through 2013 for mined and secondary metals and their application markets. This study contributes information and data that provide a total picture of the industry presented herein. The study intends to correlate data that has been calculated from a variety of sources including government data, trade association statistics, and data from a variety of metal and mining industry sources. The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive look at the metals industry with specific information and forecasts for manufacturers; application markets; regulations; patents; government, academic and commercial developments; and the global marketplace.


Over the last 50 years, and particularly in the last decade, a growing global demand for metals has led to increasing scarcity and higher increased costs for metals. This BCC Research report is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the market for metals, detailing ferrous, non-ferrous, and precious metals from mining production and the emerging markets of secondary metals. While the 2008 global economic downturn has created price drops and slackened demand for metals, the market is expected to stabilize and rebound after 2010. Metals used for industrial and product markets, including transportation, building and construction, electronics, and packaging and consumer products, will be discussed as well as the fluctuations of commodity prices and supply and demand factors. The study will analyze market dynamics, regulation, and technology and their interconnecting effect on the state-of-the-industry. Growing international markets in both developed and emerging economies, with any eye towards the impact of globalization, will be reviewed


This study contains comprehensive data concerning the production of both mined and secondary metals including ferrous, non-ferrous base metals, and precious metals. It gives insightful information from the perspective of the manufacturer and the customer. Major product manufacturers are profiled and application markets are reviewed. Detailed forecasts and analysis provide vital market information on product sales, application markets and customers, potential end-use markets, and international opportunities in a comprehensive manner. End-use markets are studied with information about current and future needs. The historical and current significance of government regulations, patents, and research and development will be reviewed in understanding their role in affecting the market dynamics of metal mining, processing, and fabrication. Mining operations, extraction methods, and recycling technologies will also be discussed. The report covers a broad spectrum of the worldwide metals industry and provides a cohesive picture of the overall metals market with forecasts through 2013.


This study should be considered a focal point for anyone interested in the state-of-the-industry for mined and secondary metal production and use. This study is valuable to those that produce, fabricate, manufacture or distribute a vast array of metal products from automotive parts to packaging and jewelry. Likewise, those participating in research and development activities through academic institutions, government programs, or private sector initiatives are presented with new developments and technological advances in potential new products and applications. Investors in commodity metal markets will also find this report informative on the state of the metals industry.


This report is based on examining and calculating information from a variety of sources to obtain data that is balanced in regard to historical statistics and future predictions. This study forecasts the market’s growth through 2013, and includes data for metal production for both mined and secondary metals, data by country and/or region, and data for metal value for end-use markets. Market forecasts are expressed in current dollar values, and market share percentages are based on current market values. This study is based on extensive research from a number of sources including: U.S. Geological Survey, various global reporting agencies, trade association data, company reports and news, and government statistics.

The following critical assumptions were made in calculating the 5-year forecasts for metals based on tonnage amounts:

  • Historical production figures are based on U.S. Geological Survey data, various global reporting agencies, trade association data, company reports and news, and government statistics.  
  • Forecasts are based on sector trends, economic growth rates and indicators, projected development and production by companies, U.S. Geological Survey data, trade association statistics, and data from a variety of metal and mining industry sources.
  • All monetary values are based on U.S. currency and do not reflect other international currencies or exchange rates.
  • Production is based on mined and secondary metals as the raw materials for finished metal output. Both mined and secondary metal prices are based on metal commodity pricing, most notably London Metal Exchange (LME) prices. Secondary metal value is based on LME prices rather than on scrap prices since the metal as a raw material is being evaluated not the amount of scrap being generated.
  • Forecasts assume negative global economic conditions for the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first half of 2009 and more positive economic outlook for the second half of 2009 through 2013. Forecasts do not reflect unforeseen changes to supply and demand or domestic or international regulatory/political/economic issues that could affect current market demand and value.


Throughout her career as a researcher, analyst, and writer, Leslie Burk’s expertise focuses on the synergy of business and the environment. Her experience includes an emphasis on the presentation and synthesis of data and information for a variety of recipients including organizations, government officials, private business and industrial representatives. Ms. Burk’s environmental experiences spans from working for one of the largest national waste companies and dealing with issues pertaining to landfill activity, industrial and special waste markets and regulation, and other waste management activities to focusing on communication strategies for a regional environmental organization specializing in water quality issues, policy, and monitoring and research activities.

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