European distributors create large EU purchasing group

Five European purchasing groups have created a large purchasing unit called Astedis covering a European-wide network.

The groups of distributors that signed a joint cooperation agreement include Spain’s Coalsider, Polish purchasing group European Steel Group, Germany’s Nordwest, Sider Center from Italy, and Socoda from France, Kallanish learns from an Astedis spokesperson.

The five associations together represent over 200 mid-sized steel distributors. The aim of the network is to create synergies and become the sales reference for key European producers as well as develop strategic relationships with all of Europe’s largest manufacturers.

“It is important to the newly created network that the corporate groups continue to be fully independent in their national markets, and that the special features of each of the markets are respected… Private trade among mid-sized companies has become more important in recent years. Astedis wants to become a linchpin within Europe for this trade. We are convinced that our strategic network will create new opportunities for all the partners involved… the cooperation wants to take on future challenges and changes within the steel market related to issues such as digitisation, the changing purchasing markets and green steel”, say Astedis’ members in a note. They add that collaboration between Astedis and main European producers will further strengthen and consolidate steel distribution in a time of profound changes in the market.

The five associations are responsible for an annual purchasing volume of approximately 3.5 million tonnes of steel products. Headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, Nordwest Handel AG registered a trading volume of €5.8 billion ($6.1bn) in 2022. “Its core purposes are to combine purchasing volumes and provide central regulation as well as a strong central warehouse and comprehensive services”, Astedis says. Nordwest is active in Austria, Switzerland, France, Poland, and Benelux. Spain’s Coalsider reached a purchasing volume of more than 185,000t in 2022 of several steel products, from corrugated beams and commercial profiles to tubes, sheets and mesh. It boasts 22 shareholders able to ensure distribution throughout Spain thanks to 39 warehouses. Polish European Steel Group consists of 10 shareholders with 35 warehouses, purchasing about 400,000 t/y while Italy’s Sider Center has an annual purchasing volume of 350,000t with 29 distributors and 42 warehouses. France’s Socoda achieves 500,000t of steel purchases annually through a national network of 33 distributors with 3,000 stocked items in steel, stainless and aluminium.

“This network can be seen as a strength element and will start a dialogue on an international level but respecting the differences of each country involved,” a member of the network comments.

Natalia Capra France