EU steel distribution shipments rise year-on-year in August

Both EU flat steel and multi-product service centers increased shipments in August despite fewer overall deliveries so far in 2017 compared with last year, according to steel and metals distribution federation EUROMETAL.

In a year-on-year comparison, EU flat steel service centers (SSC) saw sales up 7.2% in August, reflecting improved demand from end-users. However, shipments of flat products remained slightly subdued on a year-to-date basis due to weak sales at the beginning of the year.

This year’s high inventory levels among flat steel service centers persisted throughout the month with the index of stock volumes at 111, compared with 105 in August 2016 (average 2015=100).

Multi-product stockholders faced similar developments. While sales of longs, tubular products and stainless steel rose 5.6% in August year-on-year, total shipments between January and August were down 2%, compared to the same period last year.

Contrary to flat steel service centers, multi-product distributors saw inventory levels falling slightly in August. “Expressed in days of shipments, stocks of August 2017 levelled at 75 days, to be compared with 80 days in August 2017,” EUROMETAL said.

Pascal Dick, S&P Global