German steel stockholder sales fall to end-July

Germany’s stockholding distributors sold -4.5% less products this year from January through July than in the first seven months of 2018, according to their federation BDS. The total sales volume to end-July was 6.52 million tonnes. 

July turned out to be the best month of the year for sales, at 999,000t, Kallanish learns from BDS. However, chief economist Jörg Feger points out this was a balance effect after an “… unusually weak June”.  With a volume of 848,000t, June was the only month so far in 2019 with sales of less than 900,000t, partly due to holidays. Sales fell for most products with the exception of rebar, which saw higher volumes.  

Stockholders have become more cautious with regard to building inventories. At the end of July, these stood at 2.41mt, -6% lower than one year earlier. Stock based on days of sale came in at 72 in July, and 78 on average in the first seven months, slightly higher than in 2018.  

Prices have weakened since April, with the deterioration stronger for flat products and tubes than for long products, Feger notes.