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Spent Autocatalyst Recycling

In-depth research and analysis from experts

SFA (Oxford) can provide unrivalled business intelligence and market analysis of the spent autocatalyst recycling market. The team has completed a comprehensive evaluation of recycled autocatalysts from scrapyards, collection, decanning, smelting and refining players, new technology developments and business economics. For more than a decade, we have tracked the development of PGM usage and subsequent PGM scrap generation in the autocatalyst (as well as jewellery, electrical and electronic) sector, enabling us to provide a comprehensive independent review.

Spent autocatalyst recycling mapped and analysed

Our understanding of the regional and global recycling infrastructure, the main players in the value chain, capacities and utilisation, new vehicle production rates, scrapping and collection rates, and current and future emissions legislation enables us to effectively model the secondary PGM supply from autocatalysts. This allows us to contextualise both the risks and opportunities for the PGM recycling sector.

The autocatalyst recycling industry has changed measurably since 2008. An increased realisation of the contained value of catalytic converters since metal prices spiked has meant that margins are more thinly spread along the value chain and existing players have had to adapt, innovate and integrate to survive. 

We have tracked more than 100 recycling companies worldwide to understand their business models, operating costs, by-product credits, financing, metal turnaround times, catalyst trading, technologies and recoveries. With our unparalleled access to recyclers, we now receive constant updates and our data are checked by the industry on a quarterly basis. This gives SFA (Oxford) a new and unique insight into the recycling business, future innovations, strategies and likely outcomes for platinum, palladium and rhodium recycling rates in future.

Refiners have aggressively entered the market, with some integrating up the value chain. Security of supply has been a key motivator. Recycling supply is forecast to grow over the next decade, so who will control these supplies and where? The recycling industry has undergone a period of aggressive global expansion over the last ten years. However, Have all new frontiers (SE Asia, China, India, Africa, Russia, South America) been covered? Where can we expect growth to come from and what are the motivating factors? Are the US and European markets saturated, will we still see growth from these areas in future?

The steel market (and its prices) is the key influence on recycling supply. Low steel prices hit vehicle scrapping rates and spent catalyst flows have historically impacted recycling rates. However, what is the outlook, and how will steel prices and recycling react over the next few years? Will more recycling companies go out of business? 

Our Core Analysis Package report on the autocatalyst recycling sector incorporates:

  • The competitive landscape: a complete overview of the autocatalyst business.

  • The main global autocatalyst recyclers and players mapped (scrapyards, collectors, decanners, smelters and refiners).

  • A review of the business models of recyclers including SWOT evaluations.

  • A complete assessment of each part of the value chain including technologies employed.

  • An independent view on the economics of recycling: audited value chain presented.

  • Scrap steel price impact on recycling volumes and grades.

  • Ceramic substrate and PGM volumes: now and in the future.

  • Major risks to the recycling business ahead.

Who should read this report?

  • Scrap yards, collectors, decanners, smelters and refineries seeking to gain a competitive lead and source new spent autocatalyst recycling feeds.

  • New business entrants that require business strategy, investment timing, long-term risks and opportunities, and an independent view of the global spent autocatalyst recycling market.

Live Q&A with the analysts

  • Our PGM recycling report is supported by a video call, most often hosted through MS Teams, which is led by Beresford Clarke, along with our team of expert PGM analysts to highlight the key market aspects and address any further questions you may have.

Contact one of our team for more details

Henk de Hoop

Chief Executive Officer

Beresford Clarke

Managing Director: Technical & Research

David Mobbs

Head of Marketing

Yoshi Mizoguchi Owen

Marketing Associate: Japan

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