World of Tooling – Spotlight Brazil and Mexico

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Brazilian tools and tool manufacture

A total of 5,426 tons of tools and dies worth €64m were exported in 2013, which consisted of injection moulds worth €42m, solid and sheet metal forming tools worth €21m and casting moulds with a value of €1m. Almost 98% of the produced tools remain in Brazil and the total production is estimated at over €3bn. The industry has been growing in double digits for several years. Additional tools and dies were imported to Brazil in 2013 with a total value of €420m, comprising of €215m of injection moulds, €189m of solid and sheet metal forming tools and €16m of casting moulds. Fig. 4 shows its tool trade with foreign markets in 2014. The largest trade partners for importing injection moulds are China, South Korea and Italy. Injection moulds are mostly exported to Argentina, the USA and Columbia. The largest trade partners for importing sheet metal and massive forming tools are Japan, China and South Korea, while they are exported mainly to Mexico, the USA and Argentina. The heart of the industry is in Joinville, south of Sao Paulo, where about 20% of the estimated 2,000 companies are located. There are almost no major companies with over 100 employees and the industry focuses on simple tools or processing. The local automotive industry is the main customer for the industry, followed by the packaging and electronics industries. Brazil has a large domestic market on which the local industry is focused. Unlike Mexico, international customers and exports are an exception and this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Still, Brazil is the only country in South America with industrial and tool and die-making experience. The development potential is rated average as the economy and the complex trade regulations will continue to hinder the exportability of tool and die products in the foreseeable future.