Bekaert forecasts some fourth-quarter demand softening

Belgian wire specialist Bekaert forecasts some demand softening in its markets due to fourth-quarter seasonality effects and supply chain disruption, it says in its Q3 financial report monitored by Kallanish.

Despite this projection, the steelmaker sees strong sales until the end of the year. In July-September, the company registered strong global demand with the exception of China. However, raw material shortages and freight disruption have contributed to a significant impact on Bekaert’s raw materials, transport, and energy costs.

In Q3 the company posted a turnover of €1,253 million ($1,415m), up 27% year-on-year. Despite a raw materials shortage and increasing transport costs, Bekaert managed to secure supply continuity, keeping working capital under control and improving the product and business mix. This was “in line with our strategy to more efficiently segment and upgrade the business portfolio”, the report says

In the first nine months of 2021 the group posted sales growth of over 30% y-o-y to €3,559m, driven by higher volumes and increasing wire rod prices.

The Steel Wire Solutions division delivered a 37.9% on-year sales increase in the first nine months of 2021 on favourable price-mix effects.

The Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group (BBRG) also recorded a sales increase of 8.7% compared to the first nine months of 2020 to €358m, thanks to higher volumes. Sales reached €123m in July-September, “but are expected to slow down in the last quarter of the year due to the usual seasonality effects and some temporary shutdowns by A-Cords customers as a result of the microchip shortage in OEM markets. The order books continue to be strong, particularly in ropes,” Bekaert concludes.

Natalia Capra France