EU’s 2020 distribution sales fall despite December rebound

December sales from European flat steel service centres and multi-products distributors increased significantly again compared with the same month in 2019. The recovery was nevertheless not enough to overturn the overall negative trend of last year, according to the latest data from distributors’ association EUROMETAL.

Flat steel service centres saw shipments jump some 8.8% year-on-year in December after a similar recovery in November. Full-year 2020 shipments nevertheless dropped 10.9% y-o-y.

Multi-products distributors saw a December shipment rise of 13.5%, but the annual figure remained below the 2019 level by 8.5%, Kallanish notes.

In addition to the shipment recovery, stock levels at all distributors in December remained well below the levels seen in December 2019, confirming the ongoing rebound in Europe.