German stockholders recover during first half-year

Germany’s stockholding distributors saw a “strong first half-year” with regard to volume and especially prices, says their federation, BDS.

The tonnage sold by distributors from January through June totalled 5.61 million, Kallanish learns from BDS. This means a proportional increase over full-year 2020, in which sales came to 10.35mt, but also over 2019 when they totalled 10.78mt. A catch-up effect kicked in already towards the end of 2020, when the monthly average tonnage was 850,000t in the fourth quarter, over 9% higher than in Q4 2019.

A look at inventories suggests sales could have been even higher if supplies of steel had been. This applies especially to all strip products, says BDS head of research Jörg Feger.

On 31 December 2020, inventories stood at 1.92mt, already 5% lower than at the end of 2019. Levels rose only slightly at the beginning of this year, and then dropped in March and April, which is very unusual for spring months, Feger notes. A slight recovery in May was followed by another dip in June. On 30 June, inventories totalled 1.92mt, 10% lower than one year earlier.

This is also reflected in the days-of-sale, which in 2020 averaged at 75, somewhat lower than in 2019, and dropped further over the course of H1 2021. By June, they stood at 60.

Christian Koehl Germany