Summary of our market study

The French precision cold-rolled stainless steel market, a critical component of the industrial sector, saw revenues reach 21.37 billion euros in 2022, driven by demand from automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical engineering sectors. Despite a modest 3.5% contribution to European production, France has seen significant growth, with prominent companies such as Airbus, Safran, and Michelin underscoring the market's vitality. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is particularly strategic, hosting 67% of sector employment, supported by institutions fostering innovation and skills development.

While exports are robust, demonstrating competitiveness with a coverage rate above 1, France primarily imports from Germany (29%) and Belgium (24%) and exports mainly to Germany (40%). In terms of regulation, the industry, while contending with international competition and high production costs, is focusing on environmental targets, with a planned 31% CO2 reduction by 2030, moving towards carbon neutrality by 2050. Moreover, the sector saw an increase in specialized employment of 5.5% between 2021 and 2022 amidst global challenges and is adapting with technological advancements to remain competitive.

Trends and Dynamics in the French Precision Cold-Rolled Stainless Steel Market

In recent years, the French precision cold-rolled stainless steel market has experienced significant growth and transformation, reflecting the shifts in industrial demand and economic recovery post-pandemic. With revenues soaring to between 20 and 25 billion euros in 2022, the steel industry in France represents a substantial facet of the European market, albeit accounting for only between 3 to 4% of the continent’s production. The French market has thrived thanks to the robust sectors that rely on high-quality materials. The automotive, aerospace, electronics, and medical engineering industries continue to fuel growth, with their unfaltering standards and innovation-driven strategies propelling the demand for precision cold-rolled stainless steel. Leading companies such as Airbus, Safran, Thales, Schneider Electric, and Michelin are instrumental in fostering the market through their substantial material requirements. The prominence of automotive and aeronautics industries in the region cements its strategic importance for manufacturers who aim to cater to these sectors. In a broader European context, the steel industry is marked by the need to navigate international competition and the stringent environmental regulations that somewhat constrain competitiveness.

Taking into consideration the foreign trade movements, France exhibits a competitive edge with exports of cold-rolled stainless steel surpassing imports, maintaining a coverage rate exceeding 1. This indicates the high caliber of French products in the international market, echoing the dominance of countries like Germany, Belgium, and Italy as principal suppliers and customers in this trade. The legislative and regulatory sphere within the EU has posed both challenges and opportunities for the French steel industry. The union’s Steel Action Plan elucidates goals aimed at bolstering the sector across aspects such as regulation, demand stimulation, international trade equity, and energy cost management. Meanwhile, the landscape remains cautious amid trade uncertainties, with potential tariffs influencing market prices and the looming prospect of trade wars. The value chain's intricacies, from wire sintering to packaging of the final product, lay the foundation for France’s industrial prowess in precision cold-rolled stainless steel. The process is a testament to the skill and technological advancements driving.

Key Market Players in France's Precision Cold-Rolled Stainless Steel Industry

The French precision cold-rolled stainless steel market features a robust lineup of noteworthy companies that make substantial contributions to various demanding sectors such as automotive, aerospace, construction, and energy. Here's an overview of the principal entities that stand out in this sophisticated and technical field:

  • ArcelorMittal Distribution Solutions: ArcelorMittal is a global giant in the steel manufacturing world, and its influence extends deeply into the French market. The company's French operations employ over 15,000 individuals, demonstrating its significant footprint in the national economy. ArcelorMittal's facilities in France produced an impressive volume of steel in 2021, showcasing its industrial might and commitment to meeting the diverse needs of several sectors ranging from automotive to energy. With a keen focus on innovation and sustainability, ArcelorMittal is dedicated to refining its processes to minimize environmental impact while maintaining product quality.
  • Thyssenkrupp Materials France: Part of the larger Thyssenkrupp group, this company supplies various steel products, including precision cold-rolled stainless steel. Thyssenkrupp Materials France serves an array of industries, emphasizing the importance of steel in the fields of construction, industry, and energy.
  • NLMK La Louvière: A key player with roots in the steel heartlands of Europe, NLMK La Louvière specializes in providing high-grade steel products. Their offerings play a crucial part in supporting activities in sectors such as construction, automotive, and machinery, fulfilling the stringent demands of precision manufacturing.
  • Nippon Steel Trading Europe: This company is part of Japan's largest steel producer and functions as a trading arm in Europe. It serves a variety of industries, including construction, automotive, and the electrical and electronics sectors, providing them with precision-produced steel vital for advanced applications.
  • Kloeckner Metals France: As a subsidiary of the Kloeckner & Co group, Kloeckner Metals France offers a wide range of steel products to industries including construction, transport equipment, and broader industrial applications. The company is known for its reliable distribution network and customized solutions tailored to client needs.
  • Salzgitter Mannesmann International: This company is one of Europe's leading steel enterprises and meets the supply demands of several sectors. Salzgitter provides quality steel for construction, energy, and various industrial applications, underlining the versatility and critical nature of precision cold-rolled stainless steel.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Precision cold-rolled stainless steel plays an essential role in many industrial sectors in France. This market report takes an in-depth look at the industry, focusing on key trends, key players and future prospects.

In France, despite representing only 3.5% of European precision cold-rolled stainless steel production, the steel industry generates considerable revenues, amounting to 21.37 billion euros in 2022.

The precision cold-rolled stainless steel market in France is largely influenced by key sectors such as automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical engineering. These industries have a constant need for high-quality materials that meet stringent technical requirements. Consequently, precision cold-rolled stainless steel is used to manufacture a wide range of products such as tubes, coils, trays and rectangles, tailored to the specific needs of each sector.

Renowned companies operating in these sectors, such as Airbus, Safran, Thales, Schneider Electric and Michelin, are major players in the precision cold-rolled stainless steel market in France. Their need for high-quality materials and their constant quest for innovation in their products and manufacturing processes make them key partners for precision cold-rolled stainless steel producers.

In terms of location in France, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region stands out, with almost 67% of employees specializing in this sector. The region boasts a dynamic and diversified industrial fabric, with the automotive and aeronautics sectors playing a predominant role. This makes the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region a strategic market for precision cold-rolled stainless steel manufacturers wishing to provide solutions tailored to these industries.

France also boasts several industrial production sites for precision cold-rolled stainless steel, owned by companies such as Aperam with its 4 production sites, Ugitech with its 6 sites, and ArcelorMittal with its 7 sites. These production facilities help meet national and international demand for precision cold-rolled stainless steel, while offering local expertise and customization capability for customers.

1.2 The European market

The steel industry in Europe

Steel is an essential material for the French economy. Positioned upstream of numerous value chains, French steel producers supply various downstream sectors, such as the automotive, aeronautics, construction and mechanical engineering industries. In this way, they contribute to the success of the ecological transition of French ...

1.3 The French market

The French steel market

Steel industry revenues (***) excluding VAT France, **** - ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The French steel industry has grown considerably in recent years. In **** the market size was **.** billion euros; in ****, the equivalent figure was **.** billion euros. The drastic decline in **** was due to weakness in the construction ...

1.4 Imports and exports

The study of foreign trade associated with HS code ****** provides an insight into the international trade associated with this specific product. HS code ****** refers to cold-rolled stainless steel flat products with a width of *** mm or more. By analyzing the foreign trade data linked to this code, we can observe the ...

1.5 Focus on foreign trade

More specifically, we are interested in the following * codes, which belong to the category mentioned in the previous section:-********: Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, width < *** mm, simpl. cold-rolled, thickness <= *.** mm, nickel content by weight >= *.*%-********: Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, width < *** mm, simpl. cold-rolled, thickness > *.** mm but < * mm, nickel content ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The main outlets for steel in Europe

Steel is an essential and ubiquitous material in many sectors of the European economy. Indeed, it plays a crucial role in industries such as construction, automotive, mechanical engineering and many others. Thanks to its strength, durability and versatile physical properties, steel is widely used in infrastructure construction, vehicle and machine manufacturing, ...

2.2 Demand for precision cold-rolled stainless steel driven by the automotive market

The advantages of precision cold-rolled stainless steel in the automotive sector

Precision cold-rolled stainless steel is used in automotive components such as cylinder head gaskets, bellows, and brake pad plates due to its unique and advantageous properties.

Stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance. Automotive components are subjected to harsh environmental conditions, ...

2.3 Electronics: another driver of demand for precision cold-rolled stainless steel

Rolled stainless steel plays an essential role in the electronic components market, thanks to its specific properties and superior quality. This type of steel is widely used in the manufacture of housings, connectors, electrical contacts and other electronic components. Laminated stainless steel offers reliable protection for electronic circuits against external elements ...

2.4 Medical engineering, another application for precision cold-rolled steel

Precision cold-rolled stainless steel plays a crucial role in medical engineering due to its unique properties. It is widely used in the manufacture of medical devices such as implants, surgical instruments and diagnostic equipment. The non-reactive nature of stainless steel ensures excellent biocompatibility, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or complications ...

2.5 Cold-rolled stainless steel for aerospace engineering

Precision cold-rolled stainless steel also plays a role in the aerospace industry. This high-quality steel is used in the manufacture of components such as aircraft structures, engine parts, propulsion systems, navigation instruments and communications equipment. For example, it is used in the construction of wings, fuselages and support systems, where its ...

2.6 List of major cold-rolled steel buyers

This table presents a list of well-known companies and their respective sectors of activity. These companies operate in a wide range of fields, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, chemicals, construction, electrical engineering, energy and more.

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

The value chain for precision cold-rolled stainless steel comprises several essential stages:

*. WSL (***): This stage involves the manufacture of wire from stainless steel raw materials. The sintering process compacts the metal particles to form solid wires.

*. CBL (***): Once the wires have been produced, they are sent to the cold ...

3.2 Steel production analysis

The production process There are two distinct steelmaking processes: The blast furnace, made from iron ore and coal (***); The electric arc furnace (***), made from recovered steel. The blast furnace production process is described below Pig iron formation: iron ore and coke are fed into the blast furnace from above. The heat ...

3.3 Number of employees and companies in the sector and their geographical distribution

In ****, there was a significant increase in the number of employees specializing in cold-rolled steel in France, reflecting the promising development prospects for this sector. The number of employees rose from *** to *** between **** and ****, an increase of *.*% in one year. This increase reflects the growing recognition of the importance of cold-rolled ...

3.4 Precision cold-rolled stainless steel distribution and coil centers

*. ArcelorMittal Distribution Solutions: ArcelorMittal is a world-renowned steel company with a presence in France. With its **,*** employees, ArcelorMittal plays an essential role in the country's steel industry. In ****, the company produced around *.* million tonnes of liquid steel in France, affirming its position as one of the country's leading steel producers. Thanks ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 List of companies producing cold-rolled stainless steel in France

The largest industrial steel production sites

SMEs specializing in cold-rolled steel

Source: ****

4.2 The different types of products on offer

Precision cold-rolled stainless steel offers a wide range of products adapted to the specific needs of industry. These include cold-rolled stainless steel tubes. These tubes are used in many sectors, including the chemical, petrochemical and food industries, as well as in construction and medical equipment. They are distinguished by their corrosion ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Legislation and standards

Current regulations

The EU is the world's second largest steel producer after China. The European Union has stated its ambitions to strengthen the steel sector, given its strong links with various related industries; by the end of ****, it expects the industry to account for **% of the Union's GDP. [***]

To achieve this, ...

5.2 Customs

The steel trade is governed by various customs regulations put in place to frame international trade and ensure compliance with safety, health and environmental protection standards. Among the most commonly used laws is the Customs and Trade Modernization Act of ****, which came into force on March **, ****, bringing significant changes to customs ...

5.3 Reindustrialization policies

Reindustrialization has become a priority in France, supported by initiatives such as the "Plan France Relance" and "France ****." These policies aim to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen industrial competitiveness. In this context, the cold-rolled steel sector can be considered a potential growth driver. Cold-rolled steel is used in various ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Summary of buyers, distributors and competitors

Listed below are the main buyers, distributors and competitors in the precision cold-rolled steel sector in France:

  • Airbus Groupe
  • Safran Groupe
  • Zodiac Aerospace (Groupe Safran)
  • Thales
  • Daher
  • Figeac Aéro Groupe
  • Schneider Electric
  • Legrand Groupe
  • Danfoss
  • SEB Groupe
  • Forvia (ex Faurecia)
  • Michelin Groupe
  • OPmobility Plastic Omnium Groupe
  • Renault Groupe
  • PSA Peugeot Citroen
  • Guerbet
  • Biospacelab
  • SKF
  • Alstom
  • Poclain Hydraulics
  • Arkema groupe
  • Fives Group
  • Arcelormittal Centres De Services
  • Thyssenkrupp Materials France
  • NLMK La Louvière
  • Nippon Steel Trading Europe
  • Kloeckner Metals France
  • Salzgitter Mannesmann International
  • Outokumpu Distribution France
  • IMS France
  • Aperam Groupe - Alloys Imphy
  • Ugitech
  • ArcelorMittal
  • Ferropem (Swiss Steel Group)
  • Paturle Aciers
  • Aperam Groupe - Aperam Stainless France
  • CMC Chartrain
  • LISI Groupe
  • Aciers Coste
  • Metal Tolling Services
  • Saint-Gobain Groupe

List of charts presented in this market study

  • France's share of European precision cold-rolled stainless steel production (by value)
  • Receipts from the iron and steel industry (24.10Z) excluding VAT
  • Breakdown of French steel industry billings
  • Cold-rolled steel imports and exports
  • Main countries supplying cold-rolled stainless steel
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Latest news

Thales plans to invest in Atos for defense and intelligence - 30/04/2024
  • - Thales is considering the acquisition of the Mission Critical Systems (MCS) division of Defense and Security within BDS.
  • - Thales's recent €3.6 billion acquisition of Imperva positions Thales in the world's Top 5 in cyber.
  • - The MCS division generates annual revenues of €200-300 million. This amount represents part of the BDS portfolio estimated at 1.5 billion euros.
Thanks to Hitachi's takeover of Thales' rail business, Italy's Mer Mec arrives in France - 15/04/2024
  • - Sale of Hitachi's German, British and French signaling activities to Italian company Mer Mec.
  • - Founded in 1970, Mer Mec is mainly involved in signalling, electrical traction and telecommunications for the rail industry. It is present in 73 countries and belongs to the Angel Group.
  • - The Italian rail specialist already works with RATP and SNCF in France
  • Purchase price of Thales GTS by Hitachi Rail: 1.7 billion euros.
  • - The European Commission and the British competition authority had given the green light to Hitachi Rail's €1.7 billion takeover of Thales GTS (the French group's rail activities). The only condition was that the Japanese manufacturer make a number of divestments.
  • - Number of employees at Hitachi Rail STS France (ex-Ansaldo STS): over 600.
Plastic Omnium gives in to the name change craze - 27/03/2024
  • - Plastic Omnium changes its name to OPmobility.
  • - Diversification of sales with investments in hydrogen, lighting and software.
  • - The Burelle family holds 60% of the company's capital.
  • - The group posted sales of 11.4 billion last year.
  • - OPmobility employs 40,000 people in 28 countries.
Airbus wins major Asian contracts - 21/03/2024
  • - Airbus has announced two major contracts in Asia, totaling 65 aircraft with an estimated value of over ten billion dollars.
  • - Japan Airlines has ordered 21 long-haul Airbus A350-900s and 11 medium-haul A321s.
  • - Korean Air has ordered 35 long-haul A350s, including 27 of the A350-1000 model.
  • - The Boeing 777X is two years behind schedule in its certification process.
  • - The Russian overflight ban puts Boeing's 787 Dreamliners at the limit of their range for Japanese and Korean airlines.
All the lights are green for Thales, except in the space sector - 06/03/2024
  • - Order intake for 2023: 23.1 billion euros
  • - Last year's sales: 18.4 billion euros
  • - Acquisition of US company Imperva
  • - Planned acquisition of Cobham Aerospace Communications
  • - Number of new hires planned in France for 2024: 7,000
  • - Number of employees redeployed within the Thales Alenia Space group: 1,300.
Saint-Gobain ready to set up in Australia for 2.5 billion euros - 22/02/2024
  • Saint-Gobain proposes to acquire the entire capital of CSR
  • The CSR Group has some 40 production sites worldwide, around 130 sales outlets and 2,800 employees.
  • CSR's total revenues for the 2022-2023 financial year amounted to A$2.6 billion.
  • By 2022, North America and emerging markets already accounted for 62% of Saint-Gobain's operating income, compared with 40% in 2018.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Airbus Groupe
Safran Groupe
Zodiac Aerospace (Groupe Safran)
Figeac Aéro Groupe
Schneider Electric
Legrand Groupe
SEB Groupe
Forvia (ex Faurecia)
Michelin Groupe

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