European markets are coming back – devaluated currencies slow down international business


On May 23 and 24 took place in the Spanish region of Galicia the ECTS 2019 spring meeting. Hosted by Forgestal and Campo more than 20 participants visited on the 23rd the workshop of Campo Refractarios and attended a presentation about the cooperation of Campo and Forgestal, held by Forgestal General Manager Bernat Planas.

The economic survey under the ECTS members had similar results in comparison to the last meetings: nearly all ECTS member companies are confirming that their current situation is stable. The same is true for the 6-months-outlook, both in terms of business and number of employees. Anyway, during the discussion on the state of the sector, most companies make more conservative and cautious comments, foreseeing on the long run difficulties for the heavy clay industry and its suppliers.

In terms of markets the survey reveals EU 28 and Latin America as currently the most important ones. Despite of this, ECTS member do not identify any booming region. It is common sense that commercial efforts must been made all over the world in order to maintain the workshops busy at home. The European home markets are coming back in most of the countries which is giving the ECTS members some security. Some other markets, such as Russia, are stated to be of high potential but do have problems because of their devaluated local currency towards the Euro.

One of the regions ECTS members know less about is the sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, a market study on the construction markets of this region shall help ECTS members to get some orientation. The Berlin based German African Association gave an overview about the region and some details on the construction markets. This was the kick-off for a market study the aims to go in deep into the heavy clay markets of five sub-Saharan countries.

The next ECTS meeting will take place on October 24/25 in Italy.