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Last autumn, major economic research institutes were anticipating nearly 1.5% economic growth for this year. However, they have now revised their forecasts and are expecting only minimal growth of 0.1 to 0.3% or even stagnation, as indicated by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin.

Conversely, Germany’s DAX stock market index recently reached an all-time high, suggesting that investors may possess insights not yet reflected in economic projections. Indeed, Germany’s medium-sized businesses are currently voicing concerns about increasing bureaucratic burdens and challenging conditions that are impeding operational efficiencies relative to their global counterparts.

Meanwhile, the transition to a more electrified economy appears to be stalling in Germany, as reflected in declining sales of electric vehicles and a resurgence in demand for conventional cars.

Unchanged realities persist in the recycling market, including limited scrap availability, strained operating capacities for smelters owing to high energy costs, and liquidity challenges exacerbated by elevated interest rates for some market participants.

Official 226 aluminium ingot prices remain stable but there is a significant gap between the lowest and highest ingot values, leading to a wide range of prices for recycled aluminium.

In the copper sector, cathode premiums continue to serve as vital indicators for evaluating discounts or premiums based on quality. As these premiums have remained relatively unchanged, Germany and the wider European market have witnessed minimal fluctuations. Nevertheless, limited availability remains apparent. In addition, the LME still reflects a contango market in copper.

So while stock markets are signalling optimism, underlying challenges persist within the industrial and recycling sectors, reflecting the complexities of navigating contemporary economic conditions. Moving forward, a comprehensive understanding of these trends is imperative for informed decision-making and strategic planning within the German business environment.