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Contribution from http://www.folkgroup.com/linked/stateofhteindustrybycountry.pdf
Arrival of China and other countries on the scene of casting products manufacturing and export has changed the face of international trade in last decade. This presentation deliberates on some important facts related to import of casting products in USA.
The China Factor China is now the largest producer of all types of castings of any country in the world. Producing in excess of 35 million metric tons per year in 2009 it is nearly five times the second place U.S.
The China Factor The typical foundry in China is small in size and labor intensive However, some of the most modern and labor efficient foundries have been built in China in the recent years. The average tons per foundry have been dropping.
Import market Imports of iron castings have value of $340 million in 2008, dropped to $214 million in 2009 and rose to $220 million in 2010, an increase of 2.5% from 2009 to 2010. This is about 3% of the $8.1 billion iron casting market in the United States.
Quality Issue Casting quality of imported product is a major issue. The development of state-of-the-art foundries have come to provide consistent, high quality castings. Castings from a highly automated Chinese foundry are 15% more expensive than a hand foundry but are necessary for applications requiring repeatability and quality.
US is importing more Oddly enough, U.S. castings appear to be moving out of China but not necessarily back to the U.S. One company with die casting facilities in India reported they are acquiring work from China that is destined for the U.S. In iron castings, imports from China in 2010 rose 2.6% ($5.5 million) and from India they rose 30% ($19.8 million). Iron castings in the U.S. in 2010 grew 4.6% ($358 million). A strong increase in castings from Mexico ($25.6 million increase in 2010) signals that castings for the U.S. may be moving from China to Mexico as well.
Delivery Issues Deliveries can be a problem. Delayed shipment could be a major issue. However, a careful planning and trusted supplier reduces this risk considerably.
Prices are rising in China Labor rates have been increasing Since China imports scrap, raw material costs are higher while energy costs are comparable. Foundries have been reporting recent price increases from Chinese foundries bringing the landed price to within 10% of U.S. prices.
Find a partner with experience with manufacturers The US consumers of casting products should find a supplier partner in US with long association with Chinese manufacturers This will reduce risk related quality and delivery
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