Metallurgy and Metalworking Industry in Croatia

MachinesIndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2015

The metal industry is one of the most important industries in Croatia. The Agency for Investments and Competitiveness, an agency of the Croatian Government (AIK), reports that businesses dealing in the metal industry are focused on exports, introduction of new technologies, training professional personnel, quality system certification, environmentally friendly production and connecting domestic and foreign producers. The production program of the metal industry in Croatia is very diverse and can meet the needs of potential customers and partners.

In Croatia the metal industry is mostly developed in the counties of Medjimurje, Bjelovar-Bilogora, Brod Posavina and Krapina-Zagorje. The businesses in the sector enjoys a continuous growth which is clearly shown by the increase of production capacity, new products and increased exports.
In Croatia more than 3,000 companies operate in the metal industry. The number of employees in the sector is over 27,000. The share of metal industry in total exports is 3.5%. Approximately 10% of the total added value and sales of the manufacturing industry is realized in the metal industry, AIK reports.

Traditions in the sector
The manufacturing of basic metals and fabricated metal goods has a long tradition in Croatia. The production of aluminium and Al-alloys started in 1937 in Sibenik while in 1950 the ironworks in Sisak commenced the production of seamless steel tubes and metal. Production development has been accompanied by the establishment of various institutions of higher education.

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture was founded in Zagreb in 1956 and four years later, in 1960, it was the Faculty of Metallurgy in Sisak. At the same time, if the situation in this sector is compared with the situation in 2006, we notice not only a growth in the number of employees by 10%, but also export growth by 28.4% and import growth by 26.4%.

Industry development
The Croatian metal industry includes the manufacture of welded and seamless steel tubes, reinforcing steel, rolled bars, wire fabric, aluminium processing and metal castings. Steel consumption in Croatia has substantially grown in the last six years, due to an increase in the construction and shipbuilding sector production, AIK reports. Many steel products, e.g. steel sheets, steel sections and similar, are not manufactured in Croatia, which is offset by imports.

When compared with the same period in 2006, industrial manufacture in production of metals has slightly dropped in 2007 (index 99.7), which can be attributed to a lesser volume of steel tube manufacture as a consequence of the restructuring and privatisation processes of the ironworks in Sisak. At the same time, if the situation in this sector is compared with the situation in 2006, we notice not only a growth in the number of employees by 10%, but also export growth by 28.4% and import growth by 26.4%.

Production of crude steel is estimated to have increased by about 51% in 2008 compared with production in 2007. The estimated 2008 production figures are based on production data released by Croatia’s two steel producers. The reason for the large increase in production of crude steel in 2008 is unknown, although it could be the result of operational changes owing to the change of ownership of both Croatia’s steel producers late 2007.

The sector today
Today the manufacture of fabricated metal products and the metal processing activities in Croatia can be divided into the manufacture of metal constructions, builder’s carpentry of metal, containers, radiators, boilers, tools, packaging, bolt goods, furniture etc. Significant production growth has been achieved in the industrial manufacture of selected goods, which are part of fabricated metal products manufacture (index 115.8), according to AIK.

In the fabricated metal products manufacture field, the number of employed has risen by 15%, exports by 35.2% and imports by 22.5%, when compared with 2006. Major efforts are being made to increase competitiveness in international markets. To achieve substantial growth of output in future, it is necessary to boost exports, penetrate new markets, introduce modern technology and launch new products, and also to connect with manufacturers of machinery and equipment both within the country and internationally.

Croatian Foundry Association
The Croatian Foundry Association was established in 1953. It is active in different fields, supporting the development of the companies in the branch. Among the organization’s aims are: gathering information from the Croatian foundry industry; establishing cooperation between the companies; coordinating experience exchange between foundries; publishing technical foundry literature; organizing visits and exhibitions at the foundry industry trade shows; providing cooperation with different institutions which have the influence on the foundry technology (Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of the Economy, Environmental protection and energy efficiency fund etc.).

Association of production of metal and metal products
Inside the Industry of Croatian Chamber of Economy, within the Department of production and processing of metals, the Association controls the production of metals and metal products.
Metal production is characterized by the production of welded and seamless steel tubes, steel wire rod, rebar network construction, aluminium processing, metal casting and production of ferroalloys.

The Association performs its activities through discussion between companies and the association; collaboration with relevant ministries and institutions in order to improve business conditions members of the Association; connection with related companies and national associations abroad; presentation of and on specialized fairs abroad.

The purpose of the Association is to be efficient and facilitate monitoring the activities of production of metals and fabricated metal products, which gathers 201 companies, founded by the following groups: casting of metals; manufacture of tools.

Major foundries and companies in the metallurgy and metalworking