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The global steel cord market size was valued at USD 5.03 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 5.30 billion in 2023 to USD 7.75 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period.
Steel cord is composed of multiple pieces of twisted coated or uncoated high carbon steel wire, which is drawn through tungsten carbide or diamond dies with wet lubrication. The product is utilized in reinforcing multiple types of vehicle tires by providing strength to the structure. It possesses several characteristics, such as resistance to deformation, shock and wear resistance, high bearing capacity, and rust and corrosion resistance. Such factors surge its demand in several applications.
The rapidly growing automotive industry, owing to the rising consumption of EVs along with infrastructure development, is expected to boost product adoption. Moreover, high-quality standards imposed by the government for tires and heavy machinery conveyor belts are further promoting the adoption of cords. Hence, the aforementioned factors will help to accelerate the market growth during the forecast period.
Shut Down of Plants and Halt in Automotive and Construction Industries Due to the Pandemic Hindered the Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the business operations, economies, and development of several countries, including China, India, and the U.S. Governments of the respective countries imposed travel restrictions, limiting the movement of men and material. First and foremost, operating producers faced a supply shortage, at least for the first half of 2020, due to trade restrictions in key industrial nations such as China and India. As a result of this issue, companies' manufacturing capacities were hampered, and demand for steel cord products decreased significantly. In addition, the automotive and construction industries were highly impacted due to labour and raw material shortages, supply chain disruptions, and strict government regulations. This has further resulted in the halted demand for the product. Further, several manufacturers witnessed an escalation in operating costs as medical and worker’s compensation costs increased. The shortage of labour, post-pandemic due to increasing competition in the labour market, has resulted in high operating costs.
However, after the pandemic, many key market players worked to improve their business operations by adopting new strategies and business continuity plans to recover the revenue generation and production rate. Hence, the market is expected to stabilize in the upcoming years.
Rising Infrastructure Projects and Technological Advancements May Create Opportunities in the Market
The rising product utilization in infrastructure applications is expected to create an opportunity for the market. Over the past few years, the urbanization and immigration rate has drastically increased. As a result, many countries across the globe have increased their investment in infrastructure development. Therefore, an increasing number of infrastructure projects will surge the cord's adoption in the production of electrical grids, sewers, bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, and other construction projects to enhance the structure's life span and strength. In addition, the expansion of the construction industry further surges the demand for heavy equipment such as backhoes, excavators, graders, and bulldozers. This equipment utilizes a large number of steel cords in the form of a spiral during excessive tension and abnormal track conditions. Hence, growing product adoption will boost the market growth over the forecast period.
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Rising Demand for Tires from the OEMs and Aftermarket to Surge Product Consumption
Steel cords are primarily adopted in the automobile industry, especially in a range of tires, including passenger vehicle tires, commercial vehicle tires, bike tires, and aircraft tires with different tensile strengths. The strength ranges from normal to ultra-tensile based on the requirement and role of the tire in the end-use application. This is due to the remarkable benefits offered by steel compared to other materials. It is light in weight, has high tensile strength, and is compatible with the electroplating that enhances its surface properties. Furthermore, the product can be quickly reinforced with natural rubber, synthetic rubbers, and other materials that make them appropriate for tyre applications.
Furthermore, sharp temperature drops in different countries during the winter create slippery road conditions that surge the demand for tire replacement in existing vehicles to avoid road accidents. For instance, according to the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, the mortality rate on icy roads was 3.65 persons, nearly 1.95 higher than accident/mortality rates on normal roads during 2015-2017. These abnormal accident/death rate frequencies are interconnected with the road conditions. Such unfavourable conditions surge the demand for best-in-class tires to prevent the probability of an accident. Thus, all these factors are expected to boost the steel cord market growth during the forecast period.
Availability of Substitutes May Hamper the Market Growth
The cords made of steel offer the utmost benefits to end-use applications, including tires and belts, owing to the material's strength. However, the availability of a wide range of substitutes and advanced cord-making processes from different raw materials, including nylon, polyester, aramid, and rayon, may hamper the market growth. Utilization of these substitute materials enables tires and belts to achieve desired structural rigidity which is sometimes difficult to be found in cords. Furthermore, companies utilize unique hybrid materials (composite of nylon, aramid, and polyester) to meet end-users requirements where steel cord is incapable. Hence, such factors would restrain the market growth.
Brass Coated Segment to Dominate Due to Increasing Demand from Automotive Industry
Based on product, the market is segmented into brass coated, zinc coated, and others.
The brass coated segment is anticipated to lead the market during the forecast period. The tire manufacturing industry, which relies on cords to reinforce and improve tire performance, is the primary driver boosting the segment growth. Moreover, the growth is attributed to the constant expansion of the automotive industry along with rising demand for high-quality and long-lasting tires. Furthermore, technological advancements and an increasing tendency towards sustainability in manufacturing processes are shaping the market growth.
The automotive tire and conveyor belt manufacturer demand for durable and high-strength reinforcement materials is propelling the zinc-coated segment. Zinc-coated cords enhance the tensile strength and corrosion resistance of these products, making them ideal for several applications. Other types of coating, such as copper and bronze coatings, offer varying degrees of corrosion resistance and strength. Industries such as mining, construction, and manufacturing rely on cords coated with these coatings to enhance the performance and durability of their products, contributing to market growth.
Normal Tensile Segment Held the Highest Market Share Due to the Rising Demand from Tire Reinforcement
Based on type, the market for steel cord is segmented into normal tensile, high tensile, super tensile, ultra tensile, and others.
The normal tensile segment accounted for the highest steel cord market share in 2022. The growth is mainly attributed to the rising demand of normal tensile type in tire reinforcement. This is due to its excellent strength and durability which makes it suitable for standard tires and various rubber products. Increasing preference for this type will drive segment growth.
On the other hand, a high-tensile product is engineered for enhanced strength. It provides superior load-bearing capabilities, making it ideal for heavy-duty and high-performance tires such as those used in trucks and racing vehicles. Further, the growing demand for super tensile products from off-road and military vehicle tires due to their exceptional tensile properties will drive the segment growth during the forecast timeline.
Ultra tensile products represent the pinnacle of tensile strength. They are designed for specialized applications requiring maximum performance and reliability, such as aircraft and industrial equipment tires.
The others segment includes various steel cord types tailored to specific industry demands. These cords have unique properties such as corrosion resistance and flexibility to meet diverse requirements from applications such as construction or conveyor belts.
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Tires Segment to Account for Major Share Owing to its Biodegradable Properties
Based on application, the market for steel cord is segmented into tires, conveyor belts, and others.
The tires segment dominated the global market in 2022 and is estimated to remain dominant during the study period. The tires segment is a significant driver of the global market due to its heavy reliance on steel-based cords for replacement. These cords provide durability and strength, making tires safer and long-lasting. In addition, advancements in tire technology and the shift toward electric vehicles with specific tire requirements are propelling the product demand.
The conveyor belt segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during 2023-2030 in this market due to its extensive use in heavy industries such as construction, mining, and logistics. The steel-based cords offer the tensile strength and durability required for these belts, allowing the efficient movement of materials and goods.
Based on region, the market has been analyzed across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Asia Pacific Steel Cord Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific dominated the market with a value of USD 3.02 billion in 2022 and is the fastest growing region during the forecast period. The growth is bolstered by the booming automotive industry, especially in China and India. The region’s rapid industrialization and construction activities also contribute to the strong demand. In addition, China and India are major producers and consumers of steel-based cords globally and the exponential growth of the population in these countries will aid the growth of Asia Pacific.
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The growth in Europe market is associated to the strong automotive industry expansion and robust infrastructure development. Stringent quality standards in the region drive the product use in tires and manufacturing applications. In this region, Germany is a major producer and exporter of passenger vehicles and this demand is expected to grow positively in the projected period. EVs are becoming popular in Germany and require more steel-based cords than traditional steel gasoline vehicles as they need to be stronger and durable to support the weight of the battery pack. Hence, such factors are fueling the product demand in the region.
The market in North America is driven by the automotive and manufacturing industries. With a focus on sustainability, there is a growing product demand in tire reinforcement and infrastructure projects. In addition, the U.S. government has announced plans to invest heavily in infrastructure, thereby creating demand for electric vehicles and fueling the product incorporation in the vehicle. The major growth factors include population growth, increasing urbanization, and rising disposable income.
The market in Latin America is influenced by the automotive and mining sectors. Economic growth in countries such as Brazil and Mexico fuels the product demand in tires and heavy machinery.
The steady growth along with infrastructure development and investments in the mining and oil industries are fueling the market growth in the Middle East & Africa.
Key Market Players Adopt Strategic Initiatives to Strengthen their Manufacturing Capacity
The key players operating in the market include Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., ArcelorMittal S.A., HYOSUNG ADVANCED MATERIALS, and Bekaert. These companies are primarily engaged in new product launches, production capacity expansion, strategic acquisitions, partnerships, and capacity expansion to expand their product portfolio, strengthen their production capacities, and gain a competitive edge within the value chain.
For instance, Bekaert is a global company involved in multiple businesses, including material science of steel wire transformation and coating technologies. The company operates its business through the tire & automotive, energy & utilities, construction, consumer goods, agriculture, equipment, and essential materials. Bekaert has well-maintained 75 production plants across the globe. The company offers steel cords for tire reinforcement, timing belts, bumper, and elevator belts.
An Infographic Representation of Steel Cord Market
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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, products, and applications. Further, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
CAGR of 5.6% from 2023-2030
Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million Ton)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.03 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 7.75 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market size stood at USD 3.02 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2023-2030).
By application, the tires segment is the leading segment in the market.
Rising demand for tires from the OEMs and after-market is a key factor driving the market growth during the forecast period.
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., ArcelorMittal S.A., HYOSUNG ADVANCED MATERIALS, and Bekaert are a few of the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2022.
The growing automotive industry along with infrastructure development is expected to drive product adoption.
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