Italian flat distributors share positive 2016 outlook

Flat steel

Italian distributors of flat products expect demand in 2016 to grow further, following the good performance for the sector in terms of volumes in 2015, according to a note by Tommaso Sandrini, head of Assofermet Acciai, the association for finished steel distributors.

In the note the association said that last year’s positive results were driven by the strong growth in demand from the automotive sector (+20%) as well as a recovery in the construction sector.

This year the positive trend is expected to continue, particularly in the second half, surpassing demand levels seen last year. Overall the current order book of Italian flat product distributors is already much healthier than in the past, the association added, which should therefore help service centers to plan ahead and ensure that prices do not fall further.

“All distributors in 2015 benefitted from the increase in consumption in all main end-using sectors, helped at the same time by the sharp loss of market share in the distribution sector by Ilva,” the note said.

Prospects for the Italian supply chain of flat products – with the uncertainty at Ilva continuing and the limitation on imports from countries such as China and Russia – could very well benefit the distribution sector, as buyers will seek the added value of those services provided by both stockholders and distributors, Assofermet noted.

Emanuele Norsa, PLATTS