Companies in this industry engage in wholesale distribution of automotive scrap, industrial scrap, and other recyclable materials. Major scrap metal wholesalers include America Chung Nam, Commercial Metals Company, and The David J Joseph Company (all based in the US), as well as ELG Haniel (Germany), European Metal Recycling (the UK), and Sims Metal Management (Australia).
Worldwide, the recycling industry generates more than $200 billion in annual revenue, according to the Bureau of International Recycling. Leading scrap metal importers include Turkey, South Korea, and India. Demand for scrap is growing fastest in Asian markets, particularly in China and India.
Recyclable material wholesalers in the US include about 8,900 companies with combined annual revenue of about $90 billion. The industry includes auto wreckers primarily engaged in dismantling motor vehicles for the purpose of wholesaling scrap.
Demand from the steel, auto, and construction industries drives the scrap metal wholesaling industry. The profitability of individual companies depends on cultivating relationships with suppliers and buyers. Most companies are small and compete by specializing in one type of material in their local market. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing equipment and transportation. The industry in the US is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 45% of revenue.
The US is the world's largest net scrap exporter, shipping nearly $21 billion in scrap products to more than 160 countries in 2014, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). Major...