The Scandinavian countries are still on their journey back to some sort of “new normal”. July and August are traditional summer vacation months in the Nordic countries - and this year it feels as though the break has come at the right time.
For many scrap companies, the period since mid-March has been the most challenging since the financial crisis of 2008/09. A strong cocktail of falling demand for scrap, mixed with lower industrial activity as a result of lockdowns, has reduced the quantities of non-ferrous scrap available as well as the margins achievable.
Different strategies have been adopted for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Denmark, Norway and Finland took relatively strong measures such as enforced lockdowns in many sectors whereas Sweden remained largely open. At this point, it is still too early to determine which strategy has been the best from an economic point of view.
The Danish economy is projected to suffer year-on-year declines of 3.5% in GDP and of 1.4% in private consumption. For Sweden, the GDP decline is expected to be higher than in Denmark, with some sources predicting a reverse of 4%. Activity in Norway bottomed in April and the GDP decline is expected to be around 3.5% while the Finnish economy seems to be the hardest hit among the Scandinavian countries, with some sources anticipating a GDP decline as large as 5.5%.
H.J.Hansen Genvindingsindustri A/S (DNK), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division