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Big Demand from the Construction and Automotive Industries

Release time:2017-06-02 11:13 Click:138
A positive trend in the companies’ view were the raw materials prices which consolidated on a low level on world markets. The prices for crude oil, which fluctuated between US$ 40 and 50 per barrel in the third quarter, caused exploration activities to at least stabilise. The Rig Count (an indicator for the number of new oil and gas wells to be commissioned) in North America continued to go up slightly – but a 3 noticeable counter movement for the massive investment slump in the energy sector is not on the horizon yet. In contrast to this, the classic sectors of industry continued to show robust demand. According to Salzgitter demand was particularly high in the construction and automotive sectors. Even the large-diameter pipe business was better from the German perspective than in the very weak previous years. The order intake of the Europipe Group, for example, is substantially higher than over the first nine months of the previous year.
The reason being above all orders for new pipeline projects such as the Nord Stream Pipeline 2, TAP Offshore and Zohr Field. In addition to this, delays in completing the pipeline project in the Black Sea (called South Stream formerly) made for better filled order books. In 2016 Salzgitter’s order intake also improved for HFI-welded pipes against the period under review. Over the first nine months of 2016 this company even posted double the order intake for spiral-seam welded large-diameter pipes compared with the same period of the previous year. Here most demand was generated in Germany due to the realisation of long planned projects, followed by Poland, the Netherlands and Italy. The high-precision pipe market in turn benefited from the filled order books of export-focused German premium automotive manufacturers whereas the situation in the industrial and energy sector continued to be tight. Weak demand was also posted in the stainless steel sector.

By company accounts, the relatively high order volumes of the power plant sector failed to compensate for the weak demand from fields that are directly or indirectly related to oil and gas. “Forecasts are difficult especially when they refer to the future,” Danish physicist Niels Bohr is said to have stated – or was it Mark Twain, Karl Valentin, Winston Churchill or Kurt Tucholsky? Anyway – at present forecasts on the development of the economic situation are subject to a particularly high degree of insecurity against the backdrop of the current political and economic environment. This is why the company’s future related statements are subject to a moderate cyclical recovery on the principal markets – a fact not carved in stone in view of Trump, Brexit and so forth. 4 Salzgitter forecasts heterogeneous developments for its own companies in the business unit Mannesmann: Positive – also due to the orders received last year – by the large-diameter pipe plants and also by the high-precision plants thanks to automotive manufacturer’s sustained demand. In contrast to this, the order situation on the North American market has impaired, they find. The Segments of medium-sized pipes, high-precision and stainless steel pipes, in turn should see some at least hesitant recovery.
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