CPT International 04/2014


The leading technical journal for the
global foundry industry – Das führende Fachmagazin für die
weltweite Gießerei-Industrie

force and drug gangs have been connected

with their disappearance – the

situation is thus extremely complex.

From the economic point of view, Mexico

profits from the growth effects resulting

from the NAFTA free trade

agreement. Upcoming liberalization of

the energy sector could considerably

reduce production costs, so Mexico

could develop into Latin America’s economic

star in the coming decade. Experts

believe that electricity costs for

Mexican producers might fall by 20 %

in future – and foundries in this Central

American country could also profit

Figure 1: Brazil has a surplus in its main raw materials

from this substantial competitive advantage.

Brazil’s foundry-related expertise is

also reflected in the importance of its

foundry industry in international

comparisons: according to the 47th

Census of World Casting Production

compiled by the magazine Modern

Casting in December 2013, Brazil holds

seventh place in the ranking of the

largest foundry nations with 2,859,898

tonnes. Mexico holds a good 11th

place with 1,651,679 tonnes, while Argentina

is an ‘also ran’ in 26th place

with just 166,100 tonnes.

Figure 2: Currently, Brazil and Mexico have the same level of vehicle production

Argentina’s foundry industry

The foundry production of the smallest

of the three foundry nations has reached

a ten-year low. 68 % of its foundry products

are made from cast iron, 23 % from

non-ferrous metals and 9 % from steel.

The main customers are to be found in

the automotive sector (57 %), agriculture

(20 %), capital goods (10 %) and the railways

(4 %).

Mexico’s foundry industry

At 45 %, the share of non-ferrous production

in Mexico is very high. In a

worldwide comparison, the country is

also in seventh place in the ranking of

aluminum producers. Half the foundry

production, however, still involves

cast iron. Steel castings only represent

5 % of total capacity. Most of Mexico’s

casting exports (87 %) go to the USA. A

high level of dependency on the automotive

industry can be seen in all three

Latin American foundry nations: 57 %

of Argentina’s output is used for vehicle

production, 58 % of Brazil’s and between

75 and 80 % of Mexico’s. Concrete

figures on vehicle production

in the three countries can be seen in

Figure 2. A comparison of the number

of vehicles per person in the three

countries shows that Latin America’s

automotive sector still has major potentials

for growth.

Brazil’s foundry industry

The dominant material in Brazil is

cast iron, with a share of 83 % of total

production, compared to just 9 % for

non-ferrous metals and 8 % for steel.

71 % of the cast iron products, a large

majority, are still made using cast iron

with lamellar graphite. In the case

of the non-ferrous metals, the most

common material is aluminum. 73 %

of aluminum castings are supplied to

the automotive industry. Steel castings

are mainly carbon steel followed

by high-manganese steel, alloyed steel

and stainless steel. The distribution of

foundries within Brazil is also interesting.

91 % of all foundry production

takes place in the south or south-east of

the country. 55 % of exported castings

are delivered to the USA. ­Figure 3 shows

the development of exports in Brazil divided

up into the various materials.

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 43

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