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Economic Situation Metal Trade: Breaks in the Supply Chain Become a Threat to Existence

Editor: Nicole Kareta

Companies in the metal trades are currently under massive pressure from worsening supply chain problems. Steel and metal construction companies are affected just as much as suppliers. Supply problems for steel and aluminum products and the associated material price increases and production interruptions in the industry are threatening the existence of suppliers in the metal trade.

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The medium-sized suppliers are active in critical export-oriented sectors.
The medium-sized suppliers are active in critical export-oriented sectors.
(Source: gemeinfrei / Unsplash)

According to a recent economic survey by the German Metal Association Bundesverband Metall, more than 75 % of metal trade companies stated that, in addition to the shortage of skilled workers, supply chain problems are currently causing considerable difficulties. For the near future, two-thirds of the companies in the metal trade expect stagnation, every fifth company anticipates a clouding of the economic situation, and only 13 % of the companies are optimistic concerning their expectations.

"We fear that, against the background of the lack of magnesium supplies from China, the production of aluminum is at risk throughout Europe. This would aggravate the already tense situation for the 33,0000 small and medium-sized metal companies in Germany, as aluminum profiles and sheets are processed on a large scale in the metal trade. We expect politicians to take urgent initiatives in the EU context as well as internationally to counteract breaks in the supply chain - and thus in value creation," comments Erwin Kostyra, President of the German Metal Association, on the current development.

Around 33,000 small and medium-sized companies in the metal craft sector generate annual sales of EUR65 billion with around 478,000 employees and train 23,000 apprentices. Metalcraft stands for the whole variety of metal processing companies, from metal and steel constructions in building and civil engineering to suppliers for industry. The medium-sized suppliers are active in critical export-oriented sectors. These include automotive, aerospace, energy technology, medical technology, rail transport and general mechanical engineering. Their products are an indispensable foundation for production in the industrial sector and an essential component of value creation.

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