Market Monitor - Focus on steel and metals - Belgium

Market Monitor

  • Belgium
  • Metals,
  • Steel

10th September 2015

Structural overcapacity in the industry had a negative effect on businessesĀ“ profit margins in 2014, and this negative trend is expected to continue in 2015.

  • In 2014 Belgian steel and metals businesses were negatively affected by decreased orders from their main buyer industries construction and automotive. Since the beginning of 2015 shipments have increased again, but this rebound is offset by lower sales prices. At least the sector is helped by lower commodity prices.
  • The average payment duration in the steel/metals sector is 90 days. Payment delays and non-payment cases have increased in H2 of 2014, and are expected to rise further in the coming months, as the economic conditions for automotive and construction, as the main sectors for buyers of steel and metals products, are expected to remain subdued.
  • Over the last couple of months we recorded increasing insolvencies, mainly in the metals manufacturing subsector. That said, steel/metals business failures are expected to level off in H2 of 2015.
  • In general, our underwriting stance remains neutral for steel and metals businesses, however we have become more cautious on the metals manufacturing segment, scrutinising buyers in this subsector more closely. Even very well established metals manufacturing companies have faced or are facing problems due to limited orders.

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Disclaimer

The statements made herein are provided solely for general informational purposes and should not be relied upon for any purpose. Please refer to the actual policy or the relevant product or services agreement for the governing terms. Nothing herein should be construed to create any right, obligation, advice or responsibility on the part of Atradius, including any obligation to conduct due diligence of buyers or on your behalf. If Atradius does conduct due diligence on any buyer it is for its own underwriting purposes and not for the benefit of the insured or any other person. Additionally, in no event shall Atradius and its related, affiliated and subsidiary companies be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of the use of the statements made information herein.