Steel Business Briefing, 19.08.2011
Poland’s stainless business is expected to improve in the coming months, Michal Milczarek, a senior executive at Poland’s largest stainless distributor Nova Trading, tells the Polish Association of Steel Stockholders Stainless Steel Committee.
The market will pick up after the summer slowdown when mills are up and running, Milczarek says in the interview seen by Steel Business Briefing. Low inventories at distributors’ as well as strengthening nickel prices should drive buying activity in the next few months, SBB understands. “We are optimistically looking into the second half of the year”, Milczarek comments.
Business was good in the first half of the year: Q1 saw rising prices followed by restocking at distributors and increased orders for Asian suppliers. End-users were also buying more to protect themselves from further price hikes, he adds.
However, plummeting nickel prices dragged prices down through Q2. Eventually stockists reduced orders for new material as a result of high stocks. “This led to nervousness in the market and clearance sales,” Milczarek concludes.
Polish stainless distributors, including Nova Trading, are dynamically increasing exports, SBB reads in the interview. “We have reported growing export figures for many years now. At present it accounts for one quarter of the overall turnover,” Milczarek notes.
The company increased sales to 24,000 tonnes in H1, up 2,000t year-on-year. Revenues jumped 20% on the same period of last year, reaching PLN303m (€72m).