Stocks at EU steel distributors drop as shipments rise

Steel shipments from European service centers and stockholders rose year on year in April, while stocks gradually fell to normal levels, the European Federation of Steel, Tubes and Metals Distribution & Trade (EUROMETAL) said Wednesday.

Shipments at flat steel service centers in April rose 7.3% year on year.

While EUROMETAL does not specify volumes, the association releases an index for stock levels with the average of 2015 equivalent to 100. On this basis, stock levels at European flat steel distribution centers dropped to 110 in April from 121 in the same month last year, indicating lower volumes from last year, though nevertheless slightly elevated.

“After quite some overstocking in late 2017, mainly in coated products, stocks of EU SSC are now closely back to normal,” EUROMETAL said.

Shipments at multi-product distributors in April rose 8.5% year on year. The stock volume index stood at 101 in April, down slightly from 102 in the same month last year.

The data coincides with the latest stock volumes at German steel distributors. As reported, inventories of flat steel products at German stockholders and distributors in April fell to their lowest level so far this year, down 6.3% year on year at 1.45 million mt, according to figures from German stockholders association, BDS. Long product stocks in Germany also declined, but not as heavily as flat steel, falling 4.5% year on year to 879,715 mt.

Laura Varriale, PLATTS