Summary of our market study

The global steel structures market growing at a CAGR of 6.3%. In Italy, steelmaking revenues declined by 21.5%, while revenues from the manufacture of metal structures and parts decreased by 11.2% in 2020. The trade balance for these structures has been in surplus, with exports consistently higher than imports through 2022. COVID-19 notably impacted the market by reducing steel demand, leading to delayed or cancelled construction projects, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has further complicated the supply chain by causing reductions in steel supply and subsequent rises in raw material prices. Competition in the Italian market is intense with a substantial number of enterprises, particularly concentrated in northern regions. The market is adapting to supply chain disruptions, with an increased focus on resilience, sustainability, and digital transformation.

Italian Steel Construction Market Trends and Analysis

As we explore the Italian steel construction market, we are seeing significant trends influenced by a variety of factors. The global market for steel structures was valued between $120 and $140 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand to reach between $220 and $230 billion by 2030. Italy, as part of this market, has experienced fluctuations in revenues, witnessing a decrease of approximately 20% for steelmaking. Evidently, the nonresidential construction holds the highest share, dominating over 50% of the market. This is attributed to steel’s advantageous properties such as light weight, strength, and recyclability, which also align with increasingly stringent EU regulations for energy sustainability. Geographically, the majority of Italian companies in this sector are concentrated in the north of the country, particularly in Lombardy and Veneto, with over 8,000 businesses in operation. Steel demand, as demonstrated by figures from 2022, shows that the construction sector holds a significant portion of steel consumption, with over 30% in both EU and Italy. Although growth in overall steel consumption has been moderate at 1%, there is a notable increase in volumes due to incentives like renovation bonuses and public works.

On the supply side, the focus has been on sustainable practices, which is evident from the fact that in Europe, around 40% of steel production is obtained through scrap recycling, with Italy reaching as high as 85% through the utilization of electric furnaces. The Italian steel construction market is not untouched by global events. The COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine led to disruptions in the market, including reduced supply and increased raw material costs due to closed or slowed production in Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine. In terms of demographic dynamics, Italy faces a declining population, with expectations of a population decrease of around 2.5% by 2030. This trend, particularly pronounced in the South, could imply reduced demand for new housing and consequently for steel construction materials. Moreover, societal shifts towards smaller household sizes are projected, which may influence the types of residential spaces required and the associated demand for construction materials. Entering into the realm of financing and economic conditions, there has been a noted decline in bank lending for investment and home purchases due to increased loan costs following interest rate hikes.

Key Players Shaping the Steel Construction Market

The steel construction market features a roster of prominent companies with significant contributions to the industry's growth. These key players distinguish themselves through their innovation, quality, and strategic positioning within the global market.

  • Acciaierie d'Italia - As a pivotal enterprise in the steelmaking sector, Acciaierie d'Italia stands out for its extensive experience and expertise. It anchors the Italian steel industry with a heritage reflecting the nation’s industrial strength. The company is known for its high-quality steel production that caters to various sectors, including construction.
  • Marcegaglia - Marcegaglia is a renowned leader in the steel processing sector. With a diverse product portfolio and a strong commitment to research and development, the company continuously strives to improve its processes and output. It operates globally, maintaining a foothold in various markets and upholding a reputation for reliability and excellence.
  • Cimolai - Cimolai operates at the forefront of metal structures manufacturing. Known for their technological advancements and attention to detail, they have successfully positioned themselves as experts in creating complex and high-performing structures. Their expertise spans from bridges to buildings, articulating the dynamism and adaptability that steel construction demands.
  • Lattonedil - Specializing in the manufacturing of metal building components, Lattonedil represents a notable presence in the market, focusing on providing innovative solutions for modern construction challenges. Their expertise in metal roofing and cladding systems has earned them recognition in the industry, contributing to the sector’s evolution.
  • Acciaieria Arvedi - This company is another significant player in the Italian steel industry, offering an array of steel products that serve both national and international clients. Acciaieria Arvedi has harnessed the use of cutting-edge technologies to produce steel efficiently and sustainably, ensuring they remain competitive in an increasingly eco-conscious market.

Each of these companies contributes to the diverse tapestry of the steel construction market. Their specialized capabilities range from raw steel production to the manufacture of sophisticated steel structures and parts. As they adapt to market needs and regulatory requirements, these major players continue to drive industry standards while shaping the future of steel construction.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Steel buildings are buildings whose supporting structure is made of steel products (e.g., beams, rebar). Since the mid-19th century, steel has become an important building material. Due to its high strength qualities in relation to the section used, it has established itself as an alternative material to wood and iron in many construction applications.

Globally, the market for steel structures (mainly used in construction) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2021 and reach $226 billion in 2030. The nonresidential construction segment holds the highest share at 52%.

Italy saw a 21.5 percent decrease in 2020 revenues for steelmaking compared to 2018, when the sector reached its highest revenue peak. On the other hand, also in 2020, revenues from the manufacture of metal structures and parts of structures contracted by 11.2 percent compared to 2019. Both sectors are strategic for the Italian economy, and the trade balance for structures and parts of structures is in surplus in 2022. Finally, companies in these two sectors are mainly concentrated in northern Italy with 8,402 companies, mainly in Lombardy and Veneto.

The sustainable aspect and the research of technologies and new methods of metal processing are the mainstay of the steel industry making the growth of steel construction possible, especially considering that the application segments of this production are constantly expanding. The most important Italian companies by turnover in 2021 operating in the world are: Acciaierie d'Italia in steelmaking, Marcegaglia, Cimolai and others.

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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. :

NLMK Verona
Acciaierie d'Italia
Acciaieria Arvedi
Tenaris Dalmine
Manni Sipre
Gruppo Cividale

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