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Transition metals: Despite falling copper prices, renewed construction activity will sustain demand


Nonferrous Metal Refining in the US

The Nonferrous Metal Refining industry encountered challenging market conditions over the five years to 2016. Plummeting copper and zinc prices coupled with reduced downstream demand hurt industry revenue in 2009. Following the recession, increases in the price of copper and other industry metals, along with rising demand from the manufacturing sector, spurred double-digit growth in 2010 and 2011. However, industry revenue contracted again in 2012, due to crumbling metal prices, as a result of weak international demand. In the five years to 2021, although activity in the construction and manufacturing sectors is currently gaining ground, the price of copper is projected to decrease, tempering the industry's growth.

Companies in this industry smelt or refine nonferrous metals other than aluminum (see IBISWorld report 33131 for bauxite processing and primary aluminum production). The smelting or refining process includes the use of both electrolytic and traditional furnace-based procedures. Some operators may provide their services on a fee-for-service basis, more commonly known as toll refining. This industry does not include secondary smelting or refining (IBISWorld reports 33142 and 33149).

This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.

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Table Of Contents

Nonferrous Metal Refining in the US - Industry Market Research Report


Industry Definition
Main Activities
Similar Industries
Additional Resources


Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle

Supply Chain
Products and Services
Demand Determinants
Major Markets
International Trade
Business Locations

Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Industry Globalization


Capital Intensity
Technology and Systems
Revenue Volatility
Regulation and Policy
Industry Assistance

Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios



Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.

Rio Tinto Group

Asarco LLC

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