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Owing to high inflation and rising interest rates, the German economy shrank more sharply in September than since the beginning of the COVID pandemic almost two and a half years ago. The purchasing managers’ index for the private sector - industry and the service sector combined - fell by one point to 45.9 points. And the outlook for the fourth quarter isn’t very positive either: the situation is deteriorating, particularly among service providers, since customers’ willingness to spend has declined significantly owing to the tightening of budgets and increasingly uncertain prospects.

The tense logistics situation appears to be calming down. Although the all-clear signal is far from being given, availability of sea containers has improved significantly. In the European logistics sector, truck drivers are still in short supply; some companies have had more trucks than drivers for over a year.

Looking at industrial metals, we see very different markets for the various qualities. While official 226 ingot prices are falling in the aluminium sector and an increasing number of producers are reducing their capacities for 2022 (due either completely or to a large extent to the energy crisis), the copper sector remains in greater balance. The other metals have been severely affected by increased production costs, and a decoupling can be seen between the LME and prices for raw materials from recycling; previous correlations no longer exist. Above all, globally-active automotive and industrial suppliers have significant problems. There have already been some bankruptcies, with expectations that companies will continue to get into trouble. That is why it is more important than ever to look for solvent customers so that deliveries and services are paid for in the end.