B2B payment practices trends, Belgium 2024

Payment Practices Barometer

  • Belgium
  • Construction,
  • Steel,
  • Metals,
  • Machines/Engineering

Across the sectors surveyed in Belgium, a significant amount of revenue generated from B2B transactions on credit is lost due to customers failing to pay their debts.

Key takeaways from the report for Belgium  

The 2024 Payment Practices Barometer survey for Belgium was conducted between the end of Q1 and the beginning of Q2 2024. The findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.

Trade credit balancing act amid bad debts increase

  • As rising interest rates make bank credit more expensive there is a trend among companies in Belgium to scale back borrowing and look towards trade credit. 50% of businesses in our survey report an increased reliance on trade credit, particularly in the construction and machinery sectors.
  • Amid this changing financial landscape Belgian companies are re-assessing their trade credit policies, seeking a balance of offering attractive trade credit to B2B customers
    while minimising the impact of late or non-payment. The use of trade credit has risen in the construction sector to now average 54% of all B2B sales.

Major concern over worsening DSO and workforce shortages

  • 24% of businesses in Belgium tell us they anticipate a worsening of B2B customer payment behaviour during year ahead, twice as many as last year. Pessimism is most prevalent in the construction sector where 40% of companies believe there will be
    a deterioration. The steel/metals sector expects improvement in payment practices.
  • Our survey shows a mixed verdict about the prospects for insolvency risk among companies in Belgium. There is a bleak outlook in the construction sector, but in contrast an optimistic view from businesses in the steel/metals industry due to favourable market conditions. The machinery sector is relatively neutral.

The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. Its findings can give valuable insights into the current dynamics of corporate payment behaviour in B2B trade. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers. 

Interested in finding out more? 

For a complete overview of the 2024 survey results for Belgium and Western Europe, please download the full reports available in the related documents section below. 

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