Global casting production growth stalls

In 2016, worldwide casting production was 104.4 million metric tons, a near match to 2015’s reported 104.1 million metric tons, according to this year’s Census of World Casting Production conducted by Metal Casting Design & Purchasing’s sister publication Modern Casting. Casting growth from 2014 to 2015 was 0.4%, and from 2015-2016, it was 0.2%.

This year’s census includes 36 nations from four continents. Of the 32 countries with data for the last two years, 14 reported an uptick in production. The information in this census comes from surveys collected from various countries metal casting associations and organisations. The data reflects casting shipments for the year 2016, the latest year in which all data is available.

The world’s top 10 casting producing nations produced 91.6 million metric tons of the total 104.4 million metric tons.

The China Foundry Association reported a 5.4% increase since 2015, putting its total production at 47.2 million metric tons – 45% of total world casting production. The Institute of Indian Foundrymen reported a 5.4% increase in production in India, to 11.35 million metric tons, gaining space ahead of the US, which has seen lower tonnage shipped in 2015 and 2016 compared to 2014 due to flagging production for iron-heavy industries such as agriculture, oil and mining. The US is expecting growth of 2.8% in tonnage and 4.7% in casting sales in 2018.

The remaining 2016 top 10 casting nations by tonnage are Japan at 5.2 million, Germany at 5.2 million, Russia at 3.9 million, Republic of Korea at 2.6 million, Mexico at 2.56 million (2015 data), Brazil at 2.1 million, and Italy at 2.1 million.

Worldwide, the production of ferrous castings, including grey iron, ductile iron, malleable iron, and steel, was down by 1%. Considering ferrous casting makes up nearly 80% of total tonnage, the impact was felt by many nations. However, non-ferrous production grew by 5.7%, highlighting the continued trend of using lighter metals in what had been typically ferrous applications.