The time has come for domestic non-ferrous metals operators to take stock at the end of this very difficult year. Their real hope is that 2021 will quickly bring a return of the opportunities that have vanished in recent months, together with the desire to start investing again.
Current LME quotations certainly do not help as the real market does not reflect London prices; scrap is expensive and therefore difficult to find. There is a constant and unwelcome feeling of tension mixed with uncertainty.
It is not easy to be optimistic given the employment data released in recent days: in 2020, job input will drop by ten points and the recovery in 2021 is expected to be only partial (+3.8%), to be reflected in the unemployment rate which could see a return to double digits (from 9.4% this year to 11% next).
The Italian government has activated numerous initiatives aimed at revitalizing industry, digital transformation and the circular economy, but the measures appear fragmented and do not meet the needs of companies. We should all start thinking responsibly about the country we want: we have a great opportunity to make reforms as the long-awaited recovery can by no means be taken for granted. Much will depend on how we exploit the extraordinary opportunity of the recovery plan to offer companies the tools and resources necessary for a real relaunch. To serve the people, the planet and prosperity, the reaction to this crisis must involve: debt reduction; global fiscal stimuli; the revival of multilateralism; social protection tools against changes in the labour market; and strengthened co-ordination of economic policies at a world level.
LCD Trading S.R.L (ITA), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division