Forging Shipments Rose in 2012, Orders Dropped

Sales, order data for impression-die and open-die forgings, and seamless rings Increased demand from automotive market Open-die forging demand dropped Commercial aerospace strong for rings

The Forging Industry Association released its study of member companies’ 2012 sales, revealing strong activity in each of the major product segments for forged products: impression-die forgings, open-die forgings, and seamless rolled rings. However, the volume of new orders dropped off versus the previous year across all product categories.

FIA represents 112 North American companies involved in production of forged metal components that operate 208 plants and produce 77% of the forgings produced in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico annually.

The total value of 2012 shipments for all categories of forgings tracked by FIA was $10,595,267,000.00 — an increase of 5.0% over the comparable figure for 2011, $10,048,454,000.00

The annual report of industry sales is based on data collected from companies that produced 92% of 2012’s total custom forging sales, according to FIA. The report is statistically treated to represent 100% of shipments in the custom forging industry.

The study does not include forgings produced for captive use or standard catalog products.

Also, the study does not include products produced by cold forging.

Custom Impression-Die Forgings —Total 2012 shipments of custom impression-die forgings rose 7% from the previous year, from $6.37 billion 1in 2011 to  $6.82 billion in 2012. It was the third consecutive year for increased shipment totals in this segment.

However, new orders (or “bookings” in FIA’s description) for impression-die forgings fell 6% during the past year, falling from $7.08 billion in 2011 to $6.67 billion during 2012.

The most important market for impression-die forgings during 2012 was the automotive industry — passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, and related parts. Those applications represented 29.2% of all impression-die forging shipments, a significant increase over 2011 when those applications represented 15% of the volume. Commercial aerospace applications accounted for 20.5% of the impression-die forging market share in 2012.

Custom Open-Die Forgings —FIA reported total shipments of open-die forgings totaled $2.18 billion during 2012, and a narrow, -0.06% decline versus the 2011 total, $2.19 billion.

New orders for open-die forgings during 2012 totaled $1.89 billion, a -24% decline from the previous year’s order total, $2.48 billion.

The major market for open-die forgings during 2012 was oil-and-gas machinery, representing 26.4% of all products ordered. The defense market (a new category, comprising orders from military aerospace, military heavy vehicles, ordnance/guided missiles, and naval/naval nuclear products) represented 10.2% of open-die forging orders.

Custom Seamless Rolled Rings —Total North American shipments of custom seamless rolled rings rose 8% during 2012, from $1.48 billion in 2011 to $1.6 billion last year.

The bookings for seamless rolled rings decreased in value by -6%, from $1.64 billion in 2011 to $1.5 billion in 2012. The commercial aerospace market presented the largest volume of new orders, accounting for 39.6% of the market, while oil-and-gas machinery and equipment held the second ranking with 13.3% of the market.

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