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Carbon Steel Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Low Carbon Steel, Medium Carbon Steel, High Carbon Steel, and Ultra-High Carbon Steel), and By Application (Building & Construction, Automotive & Transportation, Industrial Equipment, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: June 03, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI108494



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The global carbon steel market size was valued at USD 916.79 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 951.21 billion in 2024 to USD 1,360.25 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period.

Carbon steel is a type of alloy steel that consists of iron and carbon, with the carbon composition varying in the range of 0.05% to 2.0% by weight. Its superior mechanical properties, low cost, and versatility make it a material of choice in various sectors. The construction and building, oil and gas, manufacturing, and automotive industries employ this steel and its types due to its high strength, good machinability, and wide range of applications. Additionally, the increasing demand for vehicles in emerging markets is expected to drive the carbon steel market growth during the forecast period.

Lockdowns and labor restrictions disrupted the supply of raw materials for steel manufacturing. Mines and ore processing plants faced operating issues, resulting in shortages of iron ore and other critical inputs. The market faced logistical issues due to movement limitations, restricted air and marine freight capacity, and border closures. Shipping delays and challenges in coordinating international trade hampered the timely supply of steel products to consumers.

However, increasing economic activities, stimulus packages, infrastructure investment, government initiatives, and a rebound in the construction and manufacturing sectors have uplifted the market.

Carbon Steel Market Trends

Innovative Types and Applications are Creating Opportunities for Market Growth

Manufacturers produce lightweight and high-strength carbon-steel, contributing to the lightweighting trends in industries such as automotive and aerospace. This steel allows end-use companies to reduce the weight of vehicles and structures, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions. This opens the door for the product to replace heavier materials, contributing to sustainability and efficiency.

The evolving needs of industries, such as renewable energy and infrastructure development, are creating opportunities for the market. For instance, the proliferation of wind energy projects necessitated the use of long-lasting, low-cost steel for wind turbine towers and foundations. Furthermore, the demand for carbon-steel in infrastructure construction, such as pipelines, bridges, and high-rise buildings, remains strong.

As environmental concerns gain prominence, there is a growing desire for sustainable low-carbon solutions. Carbon-steel types with recycled material, renewable energy sources in production, or lower carbon footprints are gaining popularity. These solutions align with the principles of the circular economy and environmental regulations, allowing producers to meet the demands of environmentally conscious sectors and customers.

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Carbon Steel Market Growth Factors

High Carbon Steel Emerges as Indispensable in Automotive Industry Evolution

The automotive industry significantly propels the carbon steel market, particularly the high carbon steel segment, due to its unique mechanical properties. High carbon steel, noted for its strength and endurance, is often used in automotive components that require toughness, such as engine parts, gears, and springs.

The desire for lightweight materials in the automobile industry, which aims to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, pushes the usage of high carbon steel in structural components. Furthermore, high carbon steel’s heat treatment capabilities make it ideal for producing essential parts with maximum harness and wear resistance.

As the automotive industry shifts to electric vehicles (EVs), high carbon steel remains critical in battery components and structural parts, ensuring safety and performance. Continuous developments in automotive production technology and the growing global usage of electric vehicles, are fueling the demand for high carbon steel, positioning it as a key driver in the carbon steel market.

Growing Building & Construction Industry to Drive Market Growth

Carbon steel is widely used in the building industry for constructing residential, commercial, and other architectural projects, utilized in various applications such as roofing, structural frames, reinforcing bars, and other components. Rapid urbanization, the need for housing, and population growth are boosting the demand for this product.

Infrastructural developments are crucial for economic development. Carbon-steel is a common building material for railways, airports, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. It is an excellent choice for such applications due to its durability, strength, and cost-effectiveness. Hence, the global investment in infrastructure expansion is increasing the demand for the product.

Furthermore, the replacement and maintenance of existing industrial and infrastructure facilities contribute to increased consumption of the product. A favorable environment for the market combines industrial expansion, infrastructural development, building construction, urbanization, and government investment. These factors support the demand for the product, reinforcing its position as a crucial material in various industries.


Environmental Regulation and Price Volatility to Hinder Market Growth

Environmental regulations impact international trade dynamics and often result in export restrictions or import barriers for the product. Some countries impose restrictions or tariffs on steel imports to ensure compliance with environmental standards and protect domestic industries. For example, the U.S. imposed tariffs on steel imports in 2020 under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, and the European Union implemented measures to safeguard its steel industry. These tariffs also included the imposition of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on steel imports. Additionally, the EU has stringent environmental regulations that set standards for steel production and environmental performance.

Moreover, product manufacturing is influenced by the cost and availability of raw material resources, particularly iron ore and coal. Price fluctuations in raw materials impact manufacturers' profitability and create market uncertainty.

Carbon Steel Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Low Carbon Steel Type Leads Due to its Wide Usage in Several Industries

In terms of grade, the market is segmented into low carbon steel, medium carbon steel, high carbon steel, and ultra-high carbon steel. The low carbon steel segment accounted for a major market share and is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. It is the preferred type owing to its excellent formability, weldability, and affordability. This type is often used in applications requiring low strength and high ductility, such as automotive body panels, building materials, pipelines, and general-purpose machinery.

Medium carbon steel has higher strength and hardness than the low type while maintaining superior machinability. Gears, axles, crankshafts, and machinery parts are medium-type components that require increased strength and wear resistance. It possesses a good blend of strength and formability, making it excellent for various industrial applications.

High carbon steel offers exceptional properties such as hardness and strength. However, it is less ductile and more brittle than other types. This type is often used in high-strength applications such as blades, cutting tools, springs, and wires. In addition, ultra-high type has exceptionally high hardness and strength, making it suitable for specific applications that require extreme ductility and wear resistance.

By Application Analysis

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Building & Construction Segment Dominates Owing to Increasing Infrastructure Projects

In terms of end-use industry, the market is segmented into building & construction, automotive & transportation, industrial equipment, and others. The building & construction segment holds the largest carbon steel market share and is likely to expand rapidly during the forecast period. This expansion can be attributed to the increase in policy and institutional backing for the development of housing infrastructure in developing economies. The prefabricated construction market is bolstering product demand due to the increasing popularity of prefabricated construction, as it is a fast and efficient way to build structures. The product is vital in prefabricated construction as it is strong, durable, and easy to work with.

Carbon steel is widely utilized for applications such as engines, body panels, and chassis components in the automotive & transportation industry and is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the projected years. Rising fuel costs have prompted the utilization of lightweight materials. The product stands out as an ideal material for the automotive & transportation industry. It is a durable material for use in harsh environments. This is important in the automotive & transportation industry, as vehicles are often exposed to extreme weather conditions and road hazards.

Carbon steel is also used to construct machinery, pipelines, heavy equipment, structural components, and storage tanks. Due to its widespread availability and affordability, it is ideal for industries looking for reliable and affordable solutions. The integrity, effectiveness, and safety of crucial applications are all assured by employing carbon-steel in industrial equipment. The increasing demand from various end-use industries is expected to bolster product consumption.


Asia Pacific Carbon Steel Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific market was valued at USD 544.44 billion in 2023. Rapid industrialization and infrastructure development in China and India lead to a high demand for the product in Asia Pacific. The construction industry, in particular, is a major driver, with a significant demand for steel in building structures, bridges, and transportation infrastructure. Furthermore, the expansion of manufacturing operations and the growth of the automotive industry are expected to surge product demand. The rising population, urbanization, and increasing disposable incomes in the region drive the market growth of the Asia Pacific.

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Europe market’s growth and demand for steel products are boosted by a strong emphasis on infrastructure development, including transport networks, buildings, and energy projects. The automotive industry, a significant user of steel, plays a vital role in propelling the market. Furthermore, stringent environmental regulations and sustainability initiatives are promoting the adoption of cleaner manufacturing technology and the development of high-quality, low-carbon-steel.

The robust industrial base of North America, particularly in areas such as construction, automotive, and energy, contributes to the demand for the product. The market is further driven by infrastructure expansion projects, such as transportation networks and oil & gas pipelines. Moreover, technical advancements are enhancing manufacturing capacity and product quality in the regional market. Overall, economic growth, industrial expansion, and a focus on innovation are promoting regional demand for the product.

Increased industrialization, infrastructure development, and construction activity in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are driving the Latin America market. The region's expanding economy and the heightened demand for steel-intensive sectors contribute to market expansion. In the Middle East & Africa, the market is driven by the rising demand for steel from the building & construction, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries. The region's focus on diversifying economies, establishing mega-projects, and investing in infrastructure is allowing the market to flourish.

List of Key Companies in Carbon Steel Market

Key Players Employ Strategic Blend of Acquisitions and New Product Launches to Strengthen Market Position

The global market is significantly consolidated, with key players such as ArcelorMittal, NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION, POSCO, and Baosteel Group Corporation. These companies primarily compete based on pricing and the application attributes of their products. The majority of global corporations are investing in new production technology in key markets. Key market players are developing new products that are more sustainable and efficient. These products use new technologies and materials, offering several advantages over traditional products. Key players are also forming partnerships with other companies to share resources and expertise, which can help in developing new products, expanding networks, and improving overall efficiency.


  • ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg)


  • POSCO (South Korea)

  • Baosteel Group Corporation (China)

  • JFE Steel Corporation (Japan)

  • Tata Steel Limited (India)

  • United States Steel Corporation (U.S.)

  • ThyssenKrupp AG (Germany)

  • HBIS Group (China)

  • JSW Steel Corporation (India)


  • February 2024 - JSW Steel Limited and JFE Steel Corporation formed a joint venture named SW JFE Electrical Steel Private Limited. The joint venture formed aligns with the growing market for grain-oriented electrical steel in India.

  • May 2023JSW Steel stated that its wholly-owned subsidiary JSW steel coated products limited will complete the acquisition of National Steel and Agro Industries (NSAIL) for a total payment of USD 75 million.

  • May 2023 – Saudi Aramco & public Investment and Baosteel Group announced a joint venture to construct a steel manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia with annual capacity of 2.5 million tons of direct reduced iron and 1.5 million tons of steel plate.

  • September 2022 – ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited announced the new construction and capacity of hot rolling and upstream facilities at Hazira Steel India. The company announced the acquisition of electric power, port, and infrastructure assets which were operated by separate companies.

  • January 2022 – POSCO partnered with Adani Group and announced the establishment of an integrated steel mill and exploration corporation for an estimated investment of USD 5 billion.


An Infographic Representation of Carbon Steel Market

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The market research report thoroughly examines key factors such as major firms, goods, and services. It also provides market trends and highlights important industry advancements. The study includes different variables that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years and the factors listed above. It examines the industry's newest market dynamics and opportunities and historical data and revenue growth estimates at the global, regional, and country levels.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.5% (2024-2032)


Value (USD Billion), Volume (Kiloton)


By Type

  • Low Carbon Steel

  • Medium Carbon Steel

  • High Carbon Steel

  • Ultra-High Carbon Steel

By Application

  • Building and Construction

  • Automotive & Transportation

  • Industrial Equipment

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, Application, Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, Application, Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • ASEAN (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, Application, Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, Application, Country)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 916.79 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 1,360.25 billion by 2032.

In 2023, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 544.44 billion.

The market will exhibit a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period (2024-2032).

The low carbon steel segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.

The growing construction industry and infrastructure spending are factors driving the market.

ArcelorMittal, Nippon Steel Corporation., POSCO, and HBIS Group are major players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2023.

The increasing demand from building and commercial construction projects is anticipated to drive product adoption.

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