German flat steel stocks reach highest level since 2014

German flat steel stocks at stockholders reached their highest level since 2014 last month, while seeing double-digit sales, according to data from German stockholder association, BDS.

Stocks of flat steel amounted to 1.6 million mt in October, an 18.72% year-on-year increase. Levels that high were last seen in June 2014, when they reached 1.61 million mt. In a month-on-month comparison, stocks saw a fairly stable development by gaining just 0.37%.

Sales volumes saw a sharp rise as well last month, to 597,646 mt, up 14.87% year on year.

While a price rally failed to materialize after the summer holidays, with flat steel prices dropping significantly in October, the numbers indicated a pick-up in buying activity nevertheless.

A German stockholder told S&P Global Platts that there have been a lot of buying opportunities for imports in September and October, while some deals had been done from European mills in September.

Stock levels for long steel saw a similar development in October, although they did not rise as sharply as flat products. Longs grew by 6.47% year on year to 847,169 mt and saw a drop of 2.52% from September to October.

Sales of longs increased by 11.31% year on year to 317,859 mt in October, seeing a similar rise month on month by 11.84%.

According to Platts’ most recent German sentiment survey conducted earlier this month, stock levels are expected to drop as well in the coming weeks, as the market is heading into the destocking phase ahead of year-end inventory positions.

The index dropped to 36.7 this month (50 denotes stability), down from stable expectations in October.

Laura Varriale