German fabricators bemoan weak first half of year

Production activity at Germany’s steel and metals fabricating companies suffered in the first half of 2023, and the outlook is not optimistic either, according to their federation WSM.

In comparison with the first half of 2022, production has waned by 1.9%, Kallanish learns from WSM, which represents some 5,000 companies, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). WSM notes that SMEs are especially hard-hit by the economic slowdown. “The automotive industry is slowly recovering, but its suppliers are falling behind,” says WSM’s economist Holger Ade.

Ade refers to a poll held by the federation in which 47% say they are looking ahead with concern. Only 8% have expressed optimism. WSM indirectly blames the political pressure on industries to accelerate the technical transition towards net-zero steelmaking. “It is a cocktail of challenges that is toxic for industries,” Ade says.

Managing director Christian Vietmeyer emphasises the responsibility of policymakers to rejuvenate confidence among SMEs, which he says are the drivers of German wealth. He reiterates the call for controlled electricity prices, which is a main cause of concern for the country’s manufacturing industries.

Christian Koehl Germany