As 2020 came to a close, prices were rallying on Germany's ferrous scrap market. This year, trading conditions were turning out to be much more sedate as the end of December neared. Steel mills had already stocked up on scrap in November. Many plants will also shut down operations over the Christmas and New Year period, so demand was subdued in December. At the same time, scrap merchants were not sensing a great deal of pressure to make sales after a financially successful year for the scrap business. The result was that November's prices still apply by and large in Germany, with the exception of minor regional adjustments.
Insiders' forecasts for January were very vague. The market is mired in uncertainty amid ongoing problems along international supply chains, the currency crisis in Turkey and signs that the pandemic is taking a turn for the worse with the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Merchants had certainly expected a lateral movement in scrap prices in December, although they still had hopes of another price increase here and there as the month began. Unlike in months past, though, export business was not providing any momentum. Currency volatility in Turkey was putting mounting pressure on export prices.
The full report on the steel scrap market in Germany appears in the print and e-paper issues of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management (1/2022), published on 12 January. Online subscribers can access the report immediately here: