Bowim’s first-half sales fall, observes September price uptrend

Bowim’s consolidated sales fell -6.4% on-year in the first half of 2020 to 244,303 tonnes. The firm has since the start of September observed a steel price uptrend, bringing to an end depressed prices since May.

Consolidated revenue fell -14% to PLN 583.4 million ($149m) but the firm turned to a net profit of PLN 2.7m versus a PLN 1.96m loss a year earlier thanks to lower costs.

The fall in revenue was mainly due to the impact on the market of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in a reduction in demand and sales prices. Apparent steel consumption in Poland, which accounts for 99% of Bowim’s sales, fell -10% on-year in H1 to 6.25 million tonnes, Bowim says citing Polish Steel Association figures.

The second quarter saw Covid-19-related lockdowns globally, which forced steel industry firms to reduce operations and adapt to lower demand. This followed demand boosted by significant re-stocking in Q1 as distributors and buyers prepared themselves amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Polish steelmakers remain under pressure from their unfavourable energy mix, which is highly dependent on coal, Bowim points out. This coupled with EU climate policy results in high energy costs in Poland – some 19% more than in Germany and 20% more than in Czech Republic – reducing the competitiveness of the country’s mills.

Sheet comprised 89,269t of H1 sales, down -7%, with pipe sales down -6% to 47,455t and rebar deliveries down -7% to 43,044t. In terms of procurement, 28% of purchases were imports compared to 35% a year earlier, Kallanish notes.