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Nothing in nature blooms all year, and the same goes for our markets. The old saying “sell in May and go away” looks right. Uncovering good news in this market is a little like searching for a needle in a haystack.

The Ukraine conflict has exacerbated supply bottlenecks and material shortages, leaving ever clearer traces in the economy. German industry is experiencing its sharpest slump since the COVID crisis. After the start of the Ukraine conflict, German companies unexpectedly curtailed their production. Industry, construction and energy suppliers together produced 3.9% less in March than in the previous month, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Owing to a shortage of drivers (many forwarders used to employ Ukrainians), there continues to be a bottleneck in terms of sourcing trucks and afterwards finding empty containers. On top of this, fuel prices are rising and therefore also logistics costs.

The officially-reported aluminium ingot prices have been dropping for weeks and there is a lack of good news to stop this fall. China’s zero-COVID policy is leading to less demand worldwide based on lower production. With declining LME and ferrous prices, scrap availability is dropping too. The automotive industry in Germany is reporting that fewer cars are being produced and that semiconductor problems are persisting. Some car manufacturers are no longer accepting new orders as they do not know when the car would be delivered.

To end on a positive story: in times when the waves are higher than a building, the wind stronger than a hurricane and the rain heavier than a lorry, people need to talk through all the possibilities in person for getting through this storm together. It is absolutely the right time to meet and so this month’s BIR Convention in Barcelona will be the best place for the recycling industry to see each other and exchange views.

See you soon and don’t forget: if you are going through hell, keep going.