Today: November 30, 2015, 1:51 am

Germany's metal market reports a squeeze on output prices which remain low whilst costs remain high
Germany Metals Report Q1 2014 - a new market research report on 2014-03-17 05:42:01
Germany´s metals sector will continue to feel the squeeze as output prices remain low and costs stay stubbornly high. We forecast subdued growth in consumption of key metals such as steel, copper and aluminium, chiefly due to a muted outlook for economic activity in the country. Key metal consuming sectors such as autos and construction will remain weak. For autos production, we do not foresee a return to growth until 2018 at the earliest.

Illustrative of challenges faced by the wider metals sector, steel mills will remain under significant pressure, as low output prices squeeze margins. This will encourage consolidation of operations and dampen output growth. We forecast that steel production will post only erratic growth in the coming years, as low prices will continue to bite. We forecast steel output of 42.8mn tonnes (mnt) in 2017, just 0.7% above 2012 output and 11.8% below the 2007 peak.

Three firms dominate steel production in Germany. ThyssenKrupp is Germany´s largest steel maker and will be implementing significant job cuts in 2014. ArcelorMittal has a further 8.0mntpa (mn tonnes per annum) capacity at sites in Bremen, Duisburg, Eisenhüttenstadt and Hamburg. Due to its proximity to Poland, the Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks exports nearly half its output to Central and Eastern Europe. The other three ArcelorMittal facilities are reliant on Western European markets for their exports. Salzgitter AG is the third largest steelmaker with plants in Salzgitter and Peine in the middle of the country. Germany also hosts Europe´s largest copper refiner, Aurubis AG.

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Mike King
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