Polish distributors register enquiry surge, mill offer issues

Polish steel distributors continue to conduct sales as normal despite the war raging across the border in Ukraine, but there are issues with procurement from some European mills and fears in some corners over an impending material shortage.

The Polish Union of Steel Distributors (PUDS) tells Kallanish it has registered problems with offers from mills, not only in Europe but also elsewhere, while some mills are completely not carrying out orders.

Many association members employ Ukrainian workers who have returned home for their families and remained in Ukraine to fight. Member companies have been organising collections in support of refugees from Ukraine, over 600,000 of which are estimated to have reached Poland since the war began last week. Distributors are also organising transport out of Ukraine for workers’ families, funding refugees’ accommodation, as well as offering them jobs, a PUDS spokesman says.

Nevertheless, sales from Polish distributors continue as normal. “In recent days, the number of enquiries has been huge, also from lower distribution, less so from end users, which might be due to concerns over future availability of material,” PUDS observes.

Last month PUDS stressed that imports remain a crucial component to supplying domestic demand, with Polish intake surging 24% in the 11 months through November 2021 to 12.46 million tonnes, while exports rose 8% to 5.22mt (see Kallanish passim).

In the nine months through September, Ukraine-origin imports into Poland soared by 129% on-year, meaning the country overtook Czech Republic as second-largest supplier. This suggests there is likely to be significant steel supply disruption as a result of the war in Poland’s eastern neighbour.

Adam Smith Germany