GfK – We are steel
Germany is still one of the leading steel nations and the No. 1 steel exporter.
Steel is diverse, steel is history.
Steel is the standard material in mechanical engineering and important building material for the construction industry. Of the steel used in Germany, 35% is used in the construction industry, 26% in the automotive industry, 12% in metal goods, 11% in mechanical engineering, and about 9% in pipes. Steel is needed to make a wide variety of machines, including pumps, cranes, conveyors, and milling machines. Steel cables are needed for bridges and building construction. But steel also serves as the basis for weapons, tools, pipes, and chemical apparatus. It is a crucial component in constructing ships, cars, motorbikes, and infrastructure, such as rails.
Particularly the steel sector was hit by the Covid 19 pandemic and multiple closures. This resulted in long plant closures, permanent and temporary capacity losses and supply chain disruptions. In addition, there was extreme uncertainty due to structural change, e.g. in the automotive industry with its trend towards electric cars. This has also had a serious impact on steel consumption. The automotive industry stalled, and mechanical engineering slowed down its innovations. The steel tube sector also experienced sales difficulties as a result of trade disputes, poor demand as well as political uncertainties.
Steel is always volatile! Every sector development, e.g. a recession in the construction industry, greatly impacts the steel industry. The dramatic price rise in fiscal 20/21 was not foreseeable.
In the steel sector we serve the entire supply chain, from steel production to wholesalers, industrial companies, mechanical engineering firms and steel processing companies. It is important, especially in the event of these unpredictable price developments, to provide special remedies in the form of top-up products or supplementary insurance policies to close the gaps in coverage left by credit insurers in order to secure sales. Flexible financing is particularly important in the event of significant sales losses or dramatic sales increases. Here, our factoring and purchase financing concepts are leading the way.