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Economic Issues & Market Analysis Brief: Metal Casting

Heightened foreign competition, decreases in the number and size of vehicles being manufactured (mid-1970s and 1980s), increased use of substitute materials for metals, and higher costs for environmental compliance caused metal casters to close about a third of their foundries by the early 1990s. After the recession of 1991, heightened activity in domestic auto production and an increased demand from overseas for U.S. castings propelled the industry towards economic recovery and in 1994 it shipped its greatest volume of castings (14.6 million tons) since 1981. Today, the U.S. remains the largest producer of cast products in the world and supplies 21% of the overall world demand for castings.