German steel stocks, sales increase in July: BDS

German stockholders reported an increase in steel inventories in July as European countries emerged from coronavirus-related lockdowns and optimism slowly returned, according to data from trade association BDS Aug. 21.

Flat steel stocks increased by 34,814 mt month on month in July, a gain of 1.5%, and the first month of inventory build since May.

In the longs product category, inventories increased in July by 27,515 mt or 3.5% month on month, marking the first increase since April.

On an annualized basis, flat steel inventories were down 12% or 179,335 mt lower, while long steel inventories declined 6.5%, or 56,372 mt, versus July 2019, according to the trade association.

Sales of stocks were up for both long and flat steel month-on-month, rising 30,011 mt, or 10.7%, in the long steel category and 41,301 mt, or 9.1%, in flat steel products.

The other products group saw a sales increase of just 1,610 mt in July compared with the previous month.

On a year-on-year basis, the data showed sales of stock material for long products down by 14,224 mt, or 4.4%, while flat products stock sales decreased by 81,115 mt, or 14.1%, in July. Stock sales from the other products category slipped 14,535 mt in July versus one year prior.

A European mill source said he expects the restocking to continue towards year-end as demand continues to improve.

“The largest effect at the moment is from the steel service centers as they had only just started to restock when the coronavirus lockdown struck in the spring and now that demand is pushing back to 90% of normal levels the existing stocks will look insufficient,” he said.

— Len Griffin