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a side effect of the pandemic on traffic and air travel, have further complicated recovery, but there is belief that pent up demand for leisure travel and the return of the telecommuter to the office in the post-pandemic world will fuel market recovery in the latter half of 2021. As discussed in prior years’ forecasts, the Oil & Gas subsector’s performance has a collateral effect on other General Industry subsectors, including Transportation and Pump & Valve. Recovery in these markets will continue to be throttled by the pandemic, somewhat mirroring Oil & Gas. Recovery is expected to occur in most subsectors in the latter half of 2021, throttled by anticipated declines in Recreational Firearms and Food & Beverage.


Therefore, the General


Industry Sector is expected to gradually make up ground, and is forecast to finish 2021 with North American investment casting sales of $750 Million.


Summary North American sourced investment casting sales exhibited a 23% decline in 2020 from the prior year’s record high, finishing the year at $4.64 Billion. Though the Covid-19 Pandemic played a significant part in this decline, several other market sectors were due for correction, Aerospace most notably. As the world comes out


of


the rate of increase was not as dramatic. The effect of the pandemic on bolstering this subsector’s sales is ongoing and is expected to continue into 2021 before returning to normal levels later in the year.


Orthopedic Implants, being largely used in elective surgery, took a major hit in 2020, resulting in growing pent up demand. As the situation normalizes in post-pandemic North America and elective surgeries resume, this subsector is expected to experience a bubble in demand, the length and magnitude of which is yet unknown.


Oil & Gas has been on a slide since


its most recent peak in December 2018, when the rig count was 1,083. Even at


®


that point the industry fell far short of the record set in 2014 of 1,934 active rigs. In 2020, the subsector started out on weak footing. Shortly after the pandemic went widespread throughout North America, the rig count bottomed out at 244, which is the lowest recorded point since 2016 when the count dropped to 404. Rig count for 2020 ended the year at 351, which is still 13% below the 2016 bottom. The year-end upturn is largely due to redeployment of existing rigs, with new exploration playing only a minor role.


Historically plagued by


global overproduction and surplus oil reserves, the industry is currently pacing itself and reserves are slowly drawing down. Declines in fuel consumption,


the


pandemic, sales in a number of subsectors are expected to near normal levels, but it is not anticipated that the industry on a whole will reach 2019 record levels until 2025 or later. This is due in part to aforementioned market corrections, the timing and pace of economic recovery, and the changing product mix of the Automotive Sector. The resulting forecast for 2021 places


North American sourced investment casting sales at $4.96 Billion, slightly below 2013 levels. A more in depth examination


of the North American


market will be presented at the Business & Leadership Development Conference in New Orleans, LA taking place from April 18-21, 2021.


January 2021 ❘ 15


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