Swiss steel trading company Ludwig Stahl is leaving business and will be closed on 31 March, Kallanish learns from managing director Reinhard Kopf.
Together with Peter and Roswitha Orlandi, Kopf has run the company, which he and three others acquired with equal stakes from founder Bernd Ludwig, since 1996. Specialising in heavy plate and strip products, the company was mainly active in Europe until 2008. In the wake of the global financial crisis and digitalisation, it redirected is business to third country imports. It has traditionally sold 30-40,000 tonnes/year of steel.
“Unfortunately, framework conditions in trading have changed massively since 2016,” the company says in a farewell note, citing global overproduction as well as antidumping measures. “The EU’s safeguard measures have become all but incalculable, changing business to a first-come-first-served game by which you cannot work decently,” Kopf tells Kallanish.
The company’s main source used to be China, which, along with Switzerland’s high costs made it too difficult to continue, he says. Kopf himself will now be operating under the name of ReKo Stahl GmbH from Koblach in Austria.