German stockholders’ sales fail to boom in 2021

Germany’s stockholding steel distributors caught up last year only slightly from the trough caused by the first coronavirus wave in 2020.

According to their federation, BDS, total sales in 2021 amounted to 10.62 million tonnes, up 2.7% on 2020. The strongest month, with 1.07mt, was March, which was characterised by the recovery of the economy that began in autumn 2020. Of the subsequent months, June was the strongest with 940,000t, while sales in the third and fourth quarters were weaker. In total, sales stayed below pre-pandemic levels, Kallanish hears from BDS.

A product that saw a particular increase was plate, which had seen declining deliveries in previous years but gained by a two-digit percentage in 2021. Rebar sales remained strong, but were still some 6% below the strong deliveries in 2020 that continued despite the coronavirus.

Stockholders kept their inventories low throughout 2021. The year began with the exceptionally low level of 1.92mt. Inventories were refilled only hesitantly in January and February, and then fell again, which is unusual for the spring months, BDS economist Jörg Feger notes. The year ended with a level of 2.07mt. Days of sale on average were 69 days, after 75 in 2020, which was also below the average of 2019.

Christian Koehl Germany