Scandinavia’s non-ferrous scrap dealers are clearly experiencing the first signs of what could be the beginning of a new recession. Those dealing in aluminium scrap in particular are facing a clear drop in demand from the important German market. Increasing deductions and lower premiums are seen among many consumers, as well as postponed delivery dates. One could easily believe we are back in September 2008.
When looking to the overseas markets, sentiment does not become very much better. Weekly deductions are normal for Zorba prices, and it is clear that current supply of shredder metals is much greater than demand.
The Danish economy seems well prepared for a period of lower growth. Interest rates are extremely low and housing prices are still on a rising trend. The inflation rate remains among the lowest in the EU and private consumption is quite strong. But with Germany being Denmark’s most important export market, there are good reasons to keep an open eye on developments for our neighbour to the south.
In Sweden, exports are declining as a result of weaker demand from the most important markets, while the uncertainty created by Brexit is not assisting any export recovery. Consumer confidence is currently the lowest seen for some years.
The Norwegian unemployment rate keeps on falling and signs of bottlenecks in the labour market are visible. Also, inflation is on a rising trend owing to wage growth.
The Finnish economy has been going through a period of very strong growth with GDP climbing 2.4% in 2018, driven principally by increasing consumption and investment. For 2019, a continual improvement in employment, increasing wages and low inflation seem set to support the positive development of private consumption.
H.J.Hansen Genvindingsindustri A/S (DNK), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division