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US industrial castings demand to reach nearly $35 billion in the year 2006.

Demand for industrial castings in the US is projected to increase 4.5 percent per year through 2006 to close to $35 billion, a significant improvement from the 2000-2001 level which was impacted by economic slowing and recession. Fueling gains will be a general pickup in economic activity, which will directly benefit such key castings end users as industrial machinery, motor vehicles, electrical and electronic equipment, and aerospace. Even the longsuffering primary metals market will register some improvement. In addition, higher-end products such as die and investment castings will account for a larger share of total market mix going forward, stimulating the market in value terms. However, castings will continue to face stiff functional competition both from other types of formed metal products (e.g., forgings and powder metals) and from nonmetallic materials (most notably plastics and composites), especially in motor vehicle and construction-related applications. These and other trends are presented in Industrial Castings, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Maintaining established trends, nonferrous castings as a whole will continue to grow at a faster pace than ferrous types for the foreseeable future, although products with above-average growth potential exist in both segments. These include steel investment castings and compacted graphite iron castings (presently a very small market) on the ferrous end, and castings made from high-performance metals such as titanium and superalloys on the nonferrous side. Foundry products demand as a whole will also benefit from improvements in near-net shape technology, which minimizes machining and finishing requirements and thus lowers overall costs. More advanced foundry processes such as die casting and investment casting hold particularly good prospects along these lines.

Foreign trade has become an increasingly serious bone of contention for US-based castings suppliers in recent years, as imports from low-cost producing countries have flooded into the country, some allegedly dumped at below production costs. The US has watched a fairly sizable (in absolute terms, not as a share of total business) trade surplus in castings virtually disappear in less than a decade. Direct foreign trade in unfinished castings is not extensive as a share of total supply and demand, although official figures (where available) significantly understate the true extent of foreign-built castings that come into the US market as components of finished products.

Industrial Castings (published 02/2002, 182 pages) is available for $3,600 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.

A limited license to use or reprint information from this news release is granted to you provided attribution for same -- including, if possible, the price of the report -- is given to The Freedonia Group, Inc. (Cleveland, OH). We would also appreciate the courtesy of receiving a copy of the article or publication in which we appear.
INDUSTRIAL CASTINGS DEMAND
(million dollars)

 % Annual
 Growth

Item 1996 2001 2006 01/96 06/01

Casting Sales 26276 27790 34700 1.1 4.5
 Ferrous 15879 16075 19800 0.2 4.3
 Nonferrous 10397 11715 14900 2.4 4.9

 net exports 173 5 -75 -- --

Casting Shipments 26449 27795 34625 1.0 4.5

[c] 2002 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Subscription: $00.00 per year as of 1/94. Published irregularly. Contact Freedonia Group, 3570 Warrensville Cente
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Comment:US industrial castings demand to reach nearly $35 billion in the year 2006.
Publication:Research Studies - Freedonia Group
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 20, 2002
Words:553
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