Klöckner sees prices weakening in fourth quarter

As a result of low steel prices and weak demand, distribution group Klöckner & Co recorded a significant year-on-year decrease in operating income in the third quarter.

The Ebitda before material special effects came to €26 million ($29m), compared with €59m in the third quarter of 2018. The firm suffered a net loss of €23m, compared with a net income of €22m in the prior-year period. Revenue dropped by -11% to €1.565 billion on shipments that fell -7% to 1.42 million tonnes.

Ceo Gisbert Rühl anticipates that prices and quantities will decrease in the fourth quarter, both in Europe and in the USA. During a conference call, he conceded that the company had cashed in on windfall profits last year, but by the same degree has suffered from windfall losses this year. 

In Europe, construction remains the only flourishing sector, whereas mechanical engineering and especially automotive are ailing, Kallanish heard from Rühl. In the USA, construction has passed its peak, and mechanical engineering is doing ok, but energy and automotive are declining, he added.