High Strength Steel (HSS) Market: Introduction

In terms of value, the high strength steel (HSS) market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~9% from 2019 to 2027 and reach ~US$ 41.3 Bn by 2027. In terms of demand, Asia Pacific led the global high strength steel (HSS) market in 2018. This trend is anticipated to continue between 2019 and 2027. Rise in demand for steel in various end-use industries, such as automotive, construction & infrastructure, and aerospace, is estimated to propel the global high strength steel (HSS) market during the forecast period.

Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), a multi-government policy forum, launched the ‘EV 30@30’ campaign in 2017. The campaign entails a collective goal of an average 30% market share for electric vehicles by 2030. Canada has set a target to sell 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), i.e. electric vehicles, by 2040. The Federal Government’s targets also include ZEV sales goals of 10% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. Thus, significant growth in the global electric vehicles industry is projected to drive the global high strength steel (HSS) market during the forecast period.

High Strength Steel (HSS) Market: Key Drivers and Opportunities

Electric vehicles essentially favor lightweight designs. This is likely to necessitate the usage of HSS in innovative automotive designs. Focus on enhancing the functional quality and fuel efficiency of an automobile is expected to be a key factor driving the global high strength steel (HSS) market in the next decade. Automotive manufacturers have been designing vehicles with reduced weight wherein steel has been a cost-effective, lightweight material of choice over the years. For instance, the body-in-white of Chevrolet Bolt contains 86% of steel, including 44% of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). The Hyundai Kona electric vehicle uses 52% of AHSS. HSS grades (AHSS and UHSS) are preferred, as they help enhance a vehicle’s safety. Some AHSS grades are engineered to absorb crash energy, such as in a front crash, while some are engineered to deflect crash energy such as in a side crash. Increase in demand for steel in the automotive industry is estimated to propel the demand for HSS during the forecast period.

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Asia Pacific to be Highly Lucrative High Strength Steel (HSS) Market

In terms of value, Asia Pacific held major of more than 60% of the global high strength steel (HSS) market in 2018. Development of smart cities, particularly in India, and increasing urbanization in Asia Pacific are projected to boost the demand for steel in the region in the next decade. This is expected to augment the demand for HSS in Asia Pacific during the forecast period. Infrastructure and highway expansion is a key part of China’s 13th Five Year Plan. Currently, the government is building two types of road networks: tolled expressways with low tariff and expressways without toll. Construction and infrastructure developments in China are anticipated to augment the demand for HSS in the next decade. The country’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative is expected to result in construction of a vast network of railways, highways, energy pipelines, and streamlined border crossings. The initiative is anticipated to connect China with 71 countries. The 528-meter (1,732 ft) Citic Tower in Beijing was constructed in October 2019. It has a total of 108 floors and ranks as the fourth-tallest building in China, as well as the eighth tallest worldwide.

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Competition Landscape

Global manufacturers of HSS have made substantial investments to expand their business over the last few years. In 2018, ArcelorMittal increased its capacity to produce Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) by about 400 thousand tons. Major manufacturers of HSS include ArcelorMittal, POSCO Group, Baosteel Group Corporation, Nippon Steel Corporation, Essar Steel, Tata Steel, JFE Steel Corporation, Hesteel Group, and Nucor Corporation.

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