Latest figures show a slower economic recovery in Portugal with GDP growth for 2021 now expected to be 3.9% compared to an earlier forecast for the year of 5%, owing to longer lockdowns in quarters one and two. In Spain, the economy is also not recovering as fast as expected because of many COVID-related issues.
The vaccination process is continuing as planned and, owing to fewer travel restrictions in Europe, more tourists and travel activity are anticipated for this summer.
Scrap availability in the secondary aluminium, copper and brass sectors remains low while strong demand from Asia is pushing up prices. Recently, stronger prices have been seen, especially in secondary aluminium ingots which are substituting for lower scrap imports into China. Sea container availability as well as empty vessel space are still problematic for exporters.