Germany’s stockholding distributors reported outsell price increases for all products in April, with some of them being significant, according to their federation BDS.
The upwards movement began in March, albeit with a delay from the hikes that were initiated by the mills, and gained traction in April. Sales of rolled steel products by distributors in April totalled 954,000 tonnes, Kallanish hears from a BDS report.
April thus showed some volume recovery from a March which had seen a year-on-year dip mainly because of the early Easter holiday this year. An upward trend had begun in February and has continued. The March dip was slight in absolute terms therefore despite more non-business days, and was evened out by a better April.
With a volume of 3.671 million tonnes, the first four months of the year in terms of sales are on par with the corresponding period in 2015. Inventories, which stood at 2.06mt on 31 December, and thus -9% below those at the end of 2014, have been moderately replenished and had reached 2.32mt at the end of April. This narrowed the y-o-y gap to 3%, BDS data show. At 72 days of sales in both March and April, the inventory levels were down from a figure 78 days in the same period of 2015.