Union-Stahl-Handel becomes ESH with international focus

The German cooperative Einkaufsbüro Deutscher Eisenhändler “E/D/E”, which purchases material on behalf of steel distributors and hardware companies, has relaunched its steel division Union-Stahl-Handel, now named ESH Euro Stahl-Handel (ESH), and given it a more international focus, the company confirmed to Platts Friday.

“Looking at overcapacities at European steel producers and ongoing consolidations, market conditions will continue to change. We want to be prepared for that. The new organisation improves our position to react flexibly and in a timely manner,” ESH managing director Heinz-Alfred Liebig told Platts.

Liebig said the company would intensify its relationships with international suppliers and is reacting to the changing requirements of its 160 members and prevailing market conditions through the reorganisation of steel purchasing.

ESH has changed its previous focus (as Union-Stahl-Handel) on rebar and mesh to now include products such as sections, tube, flat products and bar as well as core business.

ESH buys products in Europe and worldwide. “Looking beyond the borders in steel trading, especially in purchasing, is getting more and more important. We will, from now on, think in European dimensions with our partners and establish their relevance in international business accordingly,” said E/D/E board member Joachim Hiemeyer in a press note.

As reported, earlier this year Union Stahl-Handel saw a year-on-year fall of 11.2% to €816 million in 2015, but was able to increase sale volumes of rebar, tube and flat product while experiencing average product price falls of 11% over last year.

— Laura Varriale, PLATTS