The COVID-19 pandemic and latest developments in the Brexit negotiations are the overriding factors facing all businesses within the UK. The cost and sector limitations currently in place because of the virus and the further potential economic damage of a second wave, coupled with the uncertainties surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU, continue to be causes of great concern both at home and abroad. However, certain sectors of the economy appear to be recovering quite well despite the apprehension within the UK business world.
Scrap metal remains in short supply and has benefitted price-wise from tighter arisings and a weaker pound/US dollar in recent days following, perversely, the latest Brexit news. Export prices have increased by some 15% during the course of September as better buying offers emerge. With traders, steelworks and UK merchants all lifting their market offerings, there is a sense of some normality returning. There seems to be a healthy resurgence in demand for quality scrap metal both domestically and on the export front, with material flows increasing steadily, albeit at reduced volumes compared to pre-COVID days.
The main concern, as noted above and in the previous report, is the wider economy and in particular those large consumers of raw material, such as construction, car manufacturing and engineering. Everyone is asking when these industries will return to more normal production levels given that COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainties are affecting supply, demand, price, volumes and end destinations for material.
Mellor Metals Ltd (GBR), Board Member of the BIR Ferrous Division