Sales by German steel stockholders and distributors increased marginally year on year in August, while stocks rose as economic uncertainty and high energy costs hurt activity in most end-user sectors.
Total sales of steel products were up 0.2% year on year and 6.1% month on month at 836,707 mt in August, data from German stockholders and distributors association BDS showed Sept. 26.
Flat product sales increased the most with volumes up at 499,825 mt in August, from 492,927 mt a year ago and 459,016 mt in July.
Long product sales rose to 277,854 mt in August, from 262,653 mt a year ago and 261,685 mt recorded in July.
Stocks of all steel products in the German stockholding and distribution segment rose 5.1% year on year to 2.22 million mt in August but fell 2.2% month on month from July, when they reached 2.27 million mt, the highest since 2019.
Stocks of long products slipped to 782,198 mt in August, from 788,585 mt a year ago, while stocks of flat products rose to 1.40 million mt, from 1.30 million mt, over the same period.
Germany continued to produce lower crude steel volumes as steel output declined for six straight months in August, S&P Global Commodity Insights reported earlier. The output fell 2.3% year on year to 2.87 million mt in August as steelmakers temporarily cut production.
Hot-rolled coil prices in Northern Europe were at Eur850/mt ($842/mt) ex-works Ruhr at the beginning of August and closed at Eur780/mt base ex-works Aug. 31, according to S&P Global data. Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur735/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 23, unchanged day on day.
— Annalisa Villa