Steel sales by German distributors in June down 8% on month: BDS

Steel sales by German distributors in June were down 8% month on month to a six-month low 800,867 mt, which was 15% lower year on year, according to data released July 26 by steel stockholders’ association BDS

The fall, to 11% below January-May’s average of 902,000 mt, was attributed by the BDS the decline to economic uncertainty.

Flat rolled steel comprised 481,081 mt, or 60%, of the total distributed in June, down 6% from May and 9.6% lower year on year.

Sales of long rolled steel, at 252,903 mt, were down 10.5% and 22% on the month and on the year, respectively, representing 32% of overall tonnage.

There were no statistics on the share of the material sold by German steel distribution produced in the EU and abroad, according to a spokesperson.

The June sales meant steel distribution in Germany in the first half of 2022 declined 5.5% year on year to 5.31 million mt.

Germany, the largest steel producer in Europe, saw its crude steel production fall 7% year on year in June to 3.2 million mt, which was down 1.5% on the month, according to World Steel Association data. That was due to high energy costs denting demand and the auto sector still being impacted by the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage.

In H1, Germany produced 19.6 million of crude steel, down 5.55% year on year, according to worldsteel.

North European HRC was assessed by Platts unchanged day on day at Eur860/mt ($871/mt) ex-works Ruhr on July 25, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

Prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe have been weakening since mid-March on low demand.

In June, German steel stocks fell 1.8% from the previous month to 2.2 million mt, although that was 15% higher year on year. Of the total stocks, 793,543 mt were long products and 1.37 million mt were flat products, the BDS said.

— Ekaterina Bouckley