German fabricators catch up on production

Steel and metal processing companies in Germany increased production by 20% on-quarter in the third quarter, according to their association, Wirtschaftsverband Stahl- und Metallverarbeitung (WSM).

The association speaks of a “…rapid recovery” from the preceding production trough caused by the coronavirus impact. Compared with 2019, production was still -10.6% down in Q3 and down -15.7% in the nine months through September.

In Q4 it should be possible to further reduce the gap to the previous year, despite the renewed pandemic-related restrictions on public life in November, WSM believes. Its economist, Holger Ade, confirms the forecast for full-year 2020 given earlier, that the on-year production drop should be between -12% and -15%.

Exports fell more sharply than domestic deliveries in Q2, but with a growth of 23.2% in Q3 they also recovered much more strongly than sales in Germany. Year to date, domestic and foreign deliveries declined -17.4% and -17.9% respectively.

However, the current development in coronavirus infection levels across Europe could endanger the further recovery in exports, Kallanish hears from WSM.

This has nevertheless not shown so far. Orders from abroad in Q3 increased by 45% compared with the previous quarter, while domestic orders rose by 35.4%. In September, total incoming orders were again up year-on-year by 5.8%, WSM notes.