In 2021, European foundries have recovered partly from the dramatic reductions caused by the pandemic. Disruptions in the international supply chains and rapidly rising material and energy costs in the second half of the year prohibited a more positive development.
Comparing the industry with 2019, across all materials production is still below the pre-crisis year 2019 by more than 6%. European foundries produced 14,500,000 tons of castings in 2021. The production of the iron and steel foundries increased by 17.6% with a production volume of 10,707.4 tons, while the non-ferrous metal foundries produced 3,801.9 tons, around 14.8% more than in 2020. The double-digit production growth rates must undoubtedly be viewed against the backdrop of the significant Corona-related decline in 2020. The strong production growth in Turkey, which is the only European country already significantly exceeding the 2019 level, noticeably overstates the catch-up effect in the overall figures.
The year 2021 was marked by disruptions in the international supply chains. One reason for this were rising Corona infection numbers and new restrictions in many European and Asian countries. Although the situation has eased considerably in the course of the year, the companies still have to bear the pandemic-induced consequences. Casting-intensive vehicle construction in particular was unable to maintain the already weak figures of the previous year. The semiconductor crisis also had a negative impact on the annual results of high volume suppliers. The situation is different for foundries supplying the mechanical engineering sector. Many sectors reported high order intake. Meanwhile, costs for energy and materials have risen considerably for foundries, especially in the second half of 2021.
In 2022, which began with the Russian attack on Ukraine, the world economy is at risk of further structural disruption. Government programmes to support the economy as well as private households and central bank interventions dominate the debates. Meanwhile, it is essential to understand the situation of the foundry industry in the context of the past two years. For this the publication The European Foundry Industry 2021 offers important background knowledge. It is now available on the CAEF website.
The publication provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant data in unique depth and breadth. In addition to these data, it includes reports on the economic developments in the CAEF member countries and the foundry associations’ assessments of the most important market developments for castings.
Tillman van de Sand
phone: +49 211 68 71 — 301