Steel and aluminum prices decreased and production was cut to balance prices.
Eurofer, in its 2022-2023 fourth-quarter economic report, states that the decline in automotive production in 2022 is expected to last "at least until the second quarter of 2023" due to "continuing supply chain disruptions and serious reflections of the war in Ukraine".
Traders expect the trend to buy by retailers to fill stocks will continue this year until rising costs ease and end-user demand strengthens.
Some distributors say that they plan to keep their stock levels low in January-February 2023 due to high market volatility.
A distributor source in Northern Europe says: "At the moment, we reserve only the required product. It is unclear whether the recent rise in the flat steel markets will continue in 2023".
The negative outlook for the construction industry in 2023 has been putting downward pressure on the long steel product markets, including rebar, wire rod, sections and box sections, for several months.
Limited purchases as a result of low consumption are expected to increase price volatility in Europe's steel and aluminum markets in 2023. At the same time, it is predicted that low inventories will leave traders more vulnerable to price fluctuations during periods of limited supply if supply chain logistics problems arise.