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We find ourselves in the middle of the traditional holiday break in the Benelux market, meaning it is relatively calm at the time of writing. Some of the yards which are still open are clearing inventories in order to get ready for the holidays, but most have already done so over the last couple of weeks. 

Although markets are still at historically high levels, the recent sudden drop slowed business to a certain extent, especially on copper qualities. The short-term result is that people will have to adjust slightly to these “lower” levels; in the long run, however, the majority of suppliers seem rather optimistic about strong and solid support for decent market levels going forward. 

Although pushed a little into the background, COVID has never really disappeared. People are enjoying relatively normal lives again, but the virus is still present and case numbers are going up. Preparations are taking place in Belgium, for example, for another booster shot for everyone over the age of 18 and there is talk of increasing the use of face masks with autumn and winter on the horizon. 

Another issue which has found its way into discussions and conversations is the potential for a recession. Many people and companies are shaking their heads at the continued increases in inflation and in energy costs, which might hamper production at some mills and foundries.