German stocks rise again in January, sales up heavily

German stockholders started to increase stocks in January, but historical figures show they are catching up from a very low level, while sales grew heavily from December to January, latest figures from German stockholders’ association BDS showed.

January saw the usual seasonal uptick at stockholders in Germany, but sales saw a big jump — particularly for flat steel products, which rose 71.6% month-on-month to 627,939 mt as prices started to rise, while long products rose by 51.8% to 272,280 mt.

Flat steel products grew by 14.6% from December to January to 1.46 million mt, while long products saw an increase of 8.7% to 865,472 mt.

Compared to volumes of stock in January last year, levels remained largely stable for both long and flat products in year-on-year comparison. Sales went up by 9.1% on-year for flat products and 7.9% for long products in January.

As previously reported, stock levels decreased to their lowest levels in years in December last year. Sources noted this did not necessarily mean stockists did not have material available as a large number of distributors have warehouses at ports in the Benelux or strategic partnerships with mills and those volumes are not recorded in the BDS data.

Laura Varriale, PLATTS