Iron ore pellets are a type of agglomerated ground iron ore fines converted into spherical-shaped balls, which are typically of 6–16 mm and contain 62–72% of iron (Fe) along with other materials. Iron ore pellets have good physical and metallurgical properties, owing to which, they are a vital raw material for different types of iron and steel production. Superior properties of iron ore pellets as compared to traditional iron ore feed materials as lump overs and sinter feed, and environmental benefits of iron ore pellets in iron & steel making processes, are primary factors responsible for the growth of the global iron ore pellets market.
The global iron ore pellets market is estimated at US$ 57.4 Bn in 2019 and is expected to grow with significant rate during the forecast period
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Key Takeaways from Global Iron Ore Pellets Market Study
- For integrated steel mills and iron production plants, iron ore pellets offer significant advantages in terms of capital savings, raw material flexibility, and overcoming bottleneck situations in the long term.
- DR grade iron ore pellets are the most prominent raw material choice for DRI/sponge iron production. Significant growth in DRI production activities is projected to drive the demand for DR grade iron ore pellets during the forecast period.
- In terms of grade, both, BF grade and DR grade iron ore pellets will witness substantial growth during the forecast period. Moreover, demand for DR grade iron pellets has increased substantially, and account for more than one-fourth of the iron ore pellets market.
- Imposition of stringent environmental regulations on sinter feed and adoption of lower carbon footprint across the globe have increased the adoption of iron ore pellets across the globe.
- In terms of countries/regions, China, India, and the Middle East are estimated to be attractive markets for iron ore pellets, owing to growth in steel production and increasing environmental initiatives.
“Iron ore pellets are expected to play a crucial role in achieving targets such as capacity expansion, operational cost reduction, lowering emissions of pollutants, etc., set by iron & steel manufacturers in various countries, backed by government and environmental initiatives. However, the global coronavirus pandemic is expected to adversely impact the iron ore pellets market during the initial part of the forecast period,” says a PMR analyst.
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Performance Edge of Iron Ore Pellets over Other Iron Ore Feed Materials to Boost Demand
Iron ore pellets are considered as a better feed for iron and steel making, owing to their unique and superior properties over other feed mixes. High iron content in iron ore pellets increases the yield of steel with the increasing proportion of pellets in the raw material feed. Uniformity in shape and product quality & higher porosity of iron ore pellets increase productivity in iron & steel production processes by 15-20% as compared to other raw materials. Owing to such benefits of iron ore pellets, they are being preferred over other iron ore feed materials.
Iron Ore Pellets Market: Competition Scenario
The global iron ore pellets market is estimated to moderately fragmented, owing to the involvement of numerous local and regional level manufacturers in the landscape. However, global-level companies play a crucial role in the global iron pellets market and seaborne trade. Signing of supply agreements and adoption of integrated business models are key trends being observed in the iron ore pellets market. Disruptions in the supply chain owing to accidents and disasters is key challenge in the market.
Some of the key market participants identified in the global iron ore pellets market are,
- Vale SA
- Arya Group
- Essar Steel
- Jindal SAW Ltd.
- Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
- Simec Group
- Metalloinvest MC LLC
- Iron Ore Company of Canada
- ArcelorMittal S.A.
- KIOCL Ltd.
- Bahrain Steel
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