Content of the study:
The steel construction market - France

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1.1 Scope of the study

The steel construction market is a sub-segment of the construction market. Steel structures are buildings whose supporting structure is made entirely of steel. Since the middle of the 19th century, steel has become an important building material. Due to its high strength qualities in relation to the cross-section used, it has established itself as an alternative material to wood in many construction applications. Steel construction is a major player in the public and private sectors. However, many other sectors are linked to it, from the design of materials to the construction of works.

In 2019, 1880 million metric tonnes of steel were produced globally, with China accounting for over half of this production. 35% of steel production is used in construction, which is the focus of this study. In 2019 the global construction steel (also known as structural steel) market was valued at 290.7 billion dollars. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% to reach a value of 503.8 billion dollars in 2026. The two largest steel producing countries in Europe are Germany and Italy.

The French construction steel market has been steadily growing since 2009. Despite this growth it has been experiencing some difficulties, particularly in reaching its full potential, both in terms of value, but also employability. Exports remain a fraction of the market (less than 10%) and much of the growth is driven by public works on a large scale.

In France there are around 700 companies that are active in the sector (mainly family-owned SMEs), and this market is divided into several phases. In workshops, qualified welders, painters and welding engineers prepare the equipment that will be used on the site. Taking place in offices, draughtsmen, technicians and project managers are responsible for organizing production. Finally, on the construction site, the workers have the role of building the work according to the mandated project. 

The COVID-19 pandemic had rather dire effects on this market. Due to the prolonged lockdowns and almost complete halt to all economic activity, both the steel market and the construction market suffered. With less steel production, and less active and approved constructions sites (both public and private) the construction steel market shrank. However, this market is expected to bounce back into the future and achieve its full potential. An important driver will be new environmental regulations for buildings which will require new structures to be built.

In this study, the construction steel sector, which includes public works - bridges, monuments - and private structures  - individual houses, office buildings and business centres, will be analysed and addressed. The challenges of the sector will be highlighted, taking into account the contemporary production of steel, the raw material for the sector, as well as the new environmental and economic imperatives that are now imposed on the players in the sector.


1.2 A Global market that is slightly growing

According to the World Steel Association, the global production of steel has been slightly growing since ****, reaching a peak of **** million metric tonnes in ****.

Crude steel production World, ****-****, in millions of metric tonnes Source: ****

We can observe a slight dip in ****, which can partially be attributed to the impacts of ...

1.3 A national market that is experiencing some difficulties despite growth

In its February **** press release, the SCMF (***) explains that metal construction in France represented a market of *.* billion euros in ****, a *.*% increase compared to the previous year. The president of the trade union nevertheless relativizes this growth by pointing out that the number of authorized constructions stagnates whereas the number of ...

1.4 Imports & exports

When speaking of international trade flows, there is a lack of precise aggregate information regarding construction steel. However, we can get a better image by observing trade of construction materials in general, and then by taking a closer look at two specific types of steel constructions: bridges (***), and towers/pylons.

The ...

1.5 Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-** pandemic, and its economic ramifications which came as a result of the enforcement of prolonged lockdowns, decrease in consumption and mandatory halt to various economic and industrial sectors did not spare the steel construction market. Due to a lack of specific information pertaining to this industry, we will observe ...


2.1 Typology of public and private demand

The construction sector as a whole

The metal construction sector is a sub-segment of the construction industry. It is therefore necessary to look at the available data on construction in France, the demand and its evolution

On the construction market, the FFB (***) notes a moderate growth in demand. In **** approximately ***,*** housing ...

2.2 Demand determined by spending capacity

The table below outlines the spending in construction from **** until ****.

Investment in construction France, ****-****, billions of euros Source: ****

Investment in construction stagnated after the **** crisis and even declined between **** and ****. However, there has been a recovery since **** in terms of investments. Indeed, according to data from the INSEE, investment in ...

2.3 Determinant of demand: construction

Analysis of the construction sector :

The FFB (***) estimates the value of production in the building sector at €***.** billion in ****, up *.*% from ****. 

Production value in the construction sector France, ****- ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The graph below shows the distribution of production by value according to the different segments of the ...

2.4 Determinant of demand: public works

Public works turnover reached €**.* billion in ****, **% more than in **** according to the Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics. Maintenance work will account for just over **% of work in ****, compared with **% for new work. The graph below highlights the evolution of the market since ****, with strong growth since **** (***).

Public works turnover France, ...

2.5 Greater Paris and the Olympic Games

In addition to the construction of metallic overhead car parks, which has been particularly active in recent years with renewed demand from hospitals, shopping centres, airports and railway stations, as noted in the SCMF It should be noted that the importance of major projects (***), on the other hand the constructions themselves ...


3.1 Market organization and dynamics

Market structure

The steel construction market is divided among several players. Steel manufacturers supply the raw material needed by construction companies - beams, tubes, etc. Then the construction firms transform the steel received into usable parts on the construction site and provides technical expertise and manpower to install the steel frame ...

3.2 Steel production and relative weight of the steel construction sub-segments

The steel construction can use three types of materials It may therefore be interesting to look at the production of steel, as the most common type of steel is cast iron. It may therefore be interesting to look at the production of steel, since the tonnage machined by the sector as ...


4.1 The constructions and materials used by the sector

The table below outlines all the works carried out by the metal construction sector.

Source: ****

Concerning the construction, there are several types of metal profiles and enclosures that can be produced in the workshops:

The profiles forming the structure can be cold or hot formed, and shaped in different ways; The ...

4.2 Prices vary widely

Although a little more expensive than average, single-family homes with a metal frame are still affordable, with an average price per m* of **** euros *,*** per square m* for new homes with traditional framing [***].

However, the price of the projects carried out varies greatly according to the technical complexity =, the materials used, ...

4.3 An offer that adapts to contemporary issues


In its annual press briefing, the SCMF notes that in the face of the recruitment difficulties mentioned above, the sector must innovate in order to gain in productivity to face the international competition. We are witnessing the development of numerically controlled machines, which is now associated with the automation of ...


5.1 Regulations in favour of the sector

Government surcharge measure

The SCMF explained in its **** press briefing that the government has made the decision to pass a bonus measure a tax measure to support future investment, introduced in **** Companies can thus write off ***% of the cost price of industrial equipment on their balance sheet. The assets concerned do ...

5.2 The awarding of public contracts through tenders

The distribution to individuals is not really special since it is a traditional Business to Consumer distribution. For companies and local authorities, however, this can be more interesting as they can - and sometimes must - go through a call for tenders (***)

A company may choose to make a call for ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • ArcelorMittal
  • Groupe Briand
  • Groupe Cancé
  • Cougnaud Groupe
  • Screb Groupe
  • France Structures Distribution
  • Formeto
  • Eiffage Métal
  • Baudin Châteauneuf
  • Fayat
  • Algeco Scotsman
  • Soprema
  • Gecina

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The stationary toilet market - France

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