For Germany’s stockholding distributors, the summer months June and July have gone “… extraordinarily well”, according to their federation, Bundesverband Deutscher Stahlhandel (BDS).
In BDS’ latest market review, chief economist Jörg Feger says that both months accounted for sales of slightly more than 1 million tonnes, a stronger performance than in May, which saw sales of 948,000t. All in all, sales from January to the end of July were 2.7% above those of the first seven months of 2017, Kallanish hears.
The products which saw the highest sales growth were strip products, and especially surface-coated strip and sheet. July also saw a major restocking by distributors, with 130,000t of products taken into inventories. This correlates with the flat or even increasing prices from mills that characterised this summer versus the traditionally weaker summer market trend.
Feger notes that enhanced price levels by distributors were most pronounced for long products and tubes. At the end of July, total inventories stood at 2.56 million tonnes, which was 8% above the figure at the end of the same month in 2017.