In for a rough ride

2015 was not a good year for the non-ferrous metals industry. This fact was the topic of discussion on several occasions, especially at the BIR conference in Prague last autumn. The question constantly asked was: How low can it get? Many suspect that 2016 could bring a new definition of low.

France seems to be suffering from the same problems. According to Alexandra Weibel-Natan of Manco, the country saw far higher economic growth in 2015 than in the previous year. Especially the construction and manufacturing sectors saw noticeable increases. She points to other positive signs for 2016, but also explains that „those positive signs have not yet had any beneficial impact on our industry“. Many traders are holding onto their stock in the hope of better prices. Like in Germany, the French market is also undergoing a certain degree of restructuring. According to Weibel-Natan, many small companies are disappearing from the business and she expects 2016 to be a difficult year for the industry.

The Benelux countries also seem to be suffering from negative market sentiment, as Jurgen van Gorp of Metallo-Chimique NV points out. He explains that „the first couple of weeks were tough in terms of sourcing materials“. Business in the Benelux is mainly spot-driven at the moment and like France and some other European countries, the Benelux countries are „still experiencing the aftermath of recent events in Paris“. Van Gorp claims that „this is not helping to create a positive outlook for the next couple of months“.


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