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Germany

The German economy continues to grapple with persistent challenges as it remains stuck in a prolonged downturn. The Ifo business climate index, a key indicator of economic sentiment, has declined for the second consecutive month. The ongoing economic woes are underscored by the fact that the surveyed businesses are pessimistic not only about current economic conditions but also about future business prospects.

Adding to the economic challenges are the current strikes affecting key sectors such as the German railways and the agricultural industry.

Within the recycling industry, there is a growing concern about the increasing difficulties in securing follow-up financing. Additionally, there are reports indicating a significant rise in bureaucracy, with the escalation of regulations from Brussels suggesting that bureaucratic challenges will continue to grow. It is imperative for us to prepare for the possibility that bureaucracy could further intensify across Europe in the coming years owing to the expanding regulatory framework.

From a business perspective, we are observing a growing scarcity of recycled raw materials. Various companies report that, for certain alloys, reduced production levels have led to a decrease in the availability of post-production metals. This trend highlights the broader challenges within the industry, indicating potential disruptions in the supply chain for recycled materials. The recent surge in the LME has prompted increased activity in the last few days but the quantities are still lagging behind those of previous years.

Official 226 aluminium ingot prices continue to exhibit a positive trend, influenced by lower-than-predicted demand for electric vehicles and a sustained demand for internal combustion engine vehicles.

Overall, there is an observable trend for credit insurers to lower certain limits while reports indicate delays in payments from some customers. This aligns with the information suggesting that securing follow-up financing has become more challenging and underscores the importance of seeking financially-stable business partners.

Predicting market developments has become exceptionally challenging; even producers find difficulty in providing forecasts beyond a certain timeframe. Volatility and uncertainty in the market make it challenging for industry stakeholders not only to anticipate future trends but also to plan for the long term.