Lead Forensics

European steel industry open and supplying again

The European steel industry has opened again after the coronavirus lockdown, and is producing enough steel to meet demand.

Nearly 19 million metres less steel was produced during the lockdown as many industries that use steel were closed. By mid-May, however, most steelmakers started production again.

Steel prices dropped during the period between March to June 2020. Some European steelmakers are shifting to producing higher-quality steel that can be sold at premium prices.

Manufacturing sectors such as the automotive industries that rely on steel to make products are reopening, and can purchase steel at reasonable rates. Many car makers are launching new electric models soon, which will increase their demand for steel.

Steel prices could recover as industry ramps up production after the lockdown eases.

Retail shops selling non-essential items are now open again. They have introduced measures to protect staff and customers from the virus, including the wearing of face masks, social distancing, and hand sanitisers. These measures are becoming the norm and are not putting off customers from purchasing goods.

Online sales remain buoyant. Many warehouses are, or soon will be, fully operational. There are still some challenges facing retailers but many are expanding their warehouse capacity because of increased online sales, which are not expected to decrease significantly after the lockdown ends.

There is a demand for warehouse equipment including heavy duty trolleys, garment rails, shelving and packing benches, made from high-grade tubular steel. There is no shortage of steel available for warehouse equipment manufacturers who are keeping up with the demand for their equipment.

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