German steel sales rise 2.7% on year in 2021: BDS

German steel product sales rose 2.7% year on year to 10.6 million mt in 2021, data from German steel stockholders’ association BDS showed Jan. 25.

December sales rose 1.9% year on year to 633,653 mt after three consecutive months of year-on-year falls. However, the sales volume for the month was 28.6% lower than the previous month and the lowest since December 2020.

Steel demand faltered over the last few months of 2021 due to weaker auto demand and the short-term slowdown in the run up to Christmas.

The majority, or 61.3%, of sales in December were from the flat product category at 388,645 mt, up 3.3% year on year, but down 26% from the previous month to a 12-month low.

For 2021, flat product sales rose 6.3% on the year to 6.3 million mt, which made up 59.5% of total annual sales, up from 57.5% in 2020.

Sales of long products in December comprised 27.1% of the overall total at 171,545 mt, dropping 7.2% on the year and down 40% from November.

This brought sales of long products for the full year to 3.3 million mt, slipping 2.3% from 2020 and making up 30.8% of the overall total, down from 32.4% in the previous year.

December stocks at five-month low

Stocks of German steel products totaled 2.1 million mt in December, rising 8.1% year on year, but 1.7% lower than the level seen in November, the BDS data showed.

The monthly stocks were at the lowest level since July.

Flat products made up 63.1% total inventories in December at 1.3 million mt, which was 13.5% higher on the year, but down 1.1% from the previous month’s level.

Long products stocks totaled 718,655 mt in December, or 34.65% of the total inventory, up 0.5% year on year but down 1.6% on the month to the lowest level since December 2020, the BDS data showed.

— Jacqueline Holman