Galvanized Steel and Tinplate Market Tracker covers the wide range of steel products that are coated in one form or another, generally with either zinc, tin or polymer-/paint-based coatings. The most common products covered by this tracker include hot-dipped galvanized steel (HDG), electro-galvanized steel (ELG), pre-painted steel (PPGI) and tinplate.
Although there are a wide variety of coatings that can be applied to steel, typically so applied as means of protection and improved corrosion resistance, the market for these products is relatively small compared to that for total steel products.
Galvanized steel (that is, zinc-coated steel) is the most popular of the coated steels products, with the global market amounting to some 120 million tonnes, compared to about 1.5 billion tonnes for all steel products (2012 data). Tinplate and PPGI are considered even more as niche products, with market sizes closer to just 10 million tonnes.
Due to its anti-corrosive properties, galvanized steel is widely used in the automotive industry. It is considered as a value-added product, as automakers often chose the best-quality CR sheet as a substrate, which is later zinc-coated before it enters the automotive production lines.
The economics of high-grade auto sheet are somewhat different to those of more commodity grade galvanized steel. Automakers typically negotiate for steel shipments with steelmakers on a quarterly / yearly basis so price changes are not as regular for these grades as they are for the more commodity grade galvanized steels used by other end industries.
Adding to its tolerance against corrosion, the zinc coating also gives steels a bright and shiny look. Because of this, coated steel is also commonly used by the construction sector, especially for visible structural parts. Construction-orientated galvanized steel is predominantly sold on a spot basis and both CR and HR carbon steel can be used as substrate for its production. It typically trades at a discount compared to auto-grade galvanized steel and in some cases it can even cost less than high-quality cold rolled coil indeed, it has been able to take market share from cold rolled coil in some applications in some regions of the world.
Primary quality tinplate is one of the most commonly used materials in the food and beverage packaging industry. The tinplate market is a heavily consolidated one, with very few producers in the core markets of the USA, Europe and Japan. The packaging industry is also heavily consolidated. Tinplate is generally traded through long-term/quarterly contracts, although there are spot markets in operation, typically in emerging markets.