Cast Iron Prices – Historical Graph

Real-time chart of historical daily cast iron prices. The prices are shown in gross tonnage.
The current price is and is last updated on .
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  • The average price in the past 365 days is

Cast Iron Prices Explained

Cast iron prices regained their track as its value featured a sharp increase in China as the country revived its construction operation amidst the controversy over its 2 giant property developers.

Additionally, cast iron prices made headlines in Germany as the iron ore spot cost increased due to the growing demand for electric vehicles and battery industries.

Why are cast iron prices fluctuating?

1. Raw Material Availability

Cast iron products mainly constitute iron along with additional alloying components. Thus, if the raw materials for casting, such as iron ore, scrap metal, and alloying elements, are abundant and affordable, the production costs remain consistent.

However, if these raw materials become scarce or experience price hikes, the production costs inevitably go up. Therefore, manufacturers may find it necessary to increase the prices of their cast iron products to ensure profitability.

2. Labor Costs

Labor costs play a big role in the manufacturing of cast iron products as any increase in wages, benefits, safety regulations, or other variables has a direct impact on the overall production costs.

Overall, to sustain profitability and competitive position in the market, manufacturers choose to transfer these increased costs to consumers by raising cast iron prices.

3. Electricity and Fuel Costs

Production facilities depend on a combination of electricity and various fuels, including natural gas and coal, to meet their manufacturing energy requirements. So, changes in the prices of these energy sources have a significant influence on the cost of production.

For example, when the costs of electricity or fuel rise, it leads to increased operational expenses, subsequently increasing the overall cost of manufacturing cast iron products, and so its market price.

4. Environmental Regulations

Manufacturing facilities are often mandated by environmental regulations to adopt pollution control technologies and practices. These regulatory mandates require significant expenses on equipment, such as air pollution control systems or wastewater treatment facilities.

Thus, these investments in compliance lead to an overall increase in the cost of producing cast iron products, ultimately affecting its prices.

Which variables impact the price of cast iron?

  • Raw Material Availability
  • Market Demand
  • Energy Costs
  • Economic Condition
  • Labor Costs
  • Environmental Regulations

Where does cast iron come from?

Cast iron primarily comes from iron ore, a naturally occurring mineral in the Earth’s crust. Also, its production process used various stages, starting with mining the essential raw materials and culminating in refining and shaping the final cast iron product.

Moreover, these steps include extracting iron ore, refining it to remove impurities, smelting it in a blast furnace to create molten iron, and finally, casting it into various shapes and forms.

Thus, cast iron’s versatility stems from this process, allowing it to be used in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. It comes in different types with unique properties and applications.

1. Gray Cast Iron – The most common and widely used type of cast iron, it exhibits a grayish appearance due to the presence of graphite flakes in its microstructure. Furthermore, it is known for its exceptional castability, ease of machining, and damping characteristics.

Therefore, these attributes are suitable for many applications such as engine blocks, pipelines, cookware, and brake drums.

2. White Cast Iron – It features a white, crystalline fracture surface and is characterized by the absence of graphite in its microstructure. Also, it is very hard and wear-resistant, but brittle. It’s often used in applications where high abrasion resistance is required, such as in the manufacturing of grinding balls and certain types of rolls.

3. Ductile Cast Iron – Also known as nodular cast iron, it’s a type that contains small, rounded graphite nodules or spheroids in its microstructure. Additionally, it’s popular for its strength, ductility, and resilience, thus, well-suited for various purposes such as pipes, automotive components, and gear manufacturing.

4. Malleable Cast Iron – It’s produced through the heat treatment of either white cast iron or compacted graphite iron. This process transforms the hard, brittle material into a more adaptable and machinable form. Malleable cast iron is used for applications that require both strength and malleability, such as pipe fittings and hand tools.

5. Compacted Graphite Iron – It has a microstructure that consists of interconnected graphite nodules in a compacted form. Furthermore, it offers a balance between the properties of gray cast iron and ductile cast iron.

It finds application in cylinder blocks in diesel engines and other demanding applications.

6. Alloyed Cast Iron – It includes various grades of cast iron with added alloying elements like nickel, chromium, and molybdenum to enhance specific properties.

Additionally, these alloyed cast irons are tailored for particular applications such as heat-resistant cast iron for furnace components and corrosion-resistant cast iron for chemical equipment.

What are the uses of cast iron?

Products made of cast iron are used in many different sectors and fields, including infrastructure development, car manufacture, and cookware making.

Additionally, the quality and characteristics of cast iron vary depending on the specific type of cast iron and the production processes used. Some of the common industrial applications of cast iron include:

1. Cookware – Cookware made of cast iron, like skillets, Dutch ovens, and griddles, is well known for its superior heat retention and consistent heating capabilities. It is preferred for cooking, particularly in situations where it is necessary to maintain constant temperatures.

2. Pipe and Fittings – Water distribution networks, sewer systems, and plumbing systems all require cast iron pipes and fittings. These applications are a good fit for cast iron because of its longevity and resistance to corrosion.

3. Construction and Mining – Structural elements such as buildings, bridges, roads, and tunnels all need cast iron to expand and strengthen their capacity. Popular cast iron products are cinder blocks, manhole covers, railings, and expansion joints. Additionally, mining tools like picks, shovels, hammers, and drill bits are made of this commodity.

4. Brake Discs and Drums – Due to its great wear resistance, it is used to manufacture brake drums and discs for heavy machinery and automobiles. Moreover, it can withstand the intense heat and friction produced when braking.

5. Valves and Valve Fittings – Additionally, it’s used to produce various types of valves and fittings like gate valves, butterfly valves, and check valves.

What is the future price of cast iron?

The automotive sector’s increasing demand for casting is the primary price mover of cast iron. It is anticipated that increasing expenditures in facilities for the production of machinery and tools will increase product consumption, driving cast iron prices.

Additionally, the Chinese government’s announcement on widening its commercial property lending by banks means renowned construction activity in the country which activates the need for construction materials. The country is the biggest consumer of steel and iron, contributing to these commodities marketability. 

Thus, the cast iron prices in 2028 will range from $300 to $500 per metric ton. Additionally, the global iron-casting market size is expected to reach $136.55 billion by 2028., expanding at a CAGR of 6.1%.

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