Filame takes part in the Global Industrie show in Paris

Filame will be taking part in the Salon Global Industrie in Paris from 25 to 28 March 2024.

Together with the Hanover Messe (22 – 26 April 2024 – which Filame will also be attending), Global Industrie is Europe’s largest trade fair for industrial subcontracting.

Filame will be delighted to welcome you to its Stand 6C50 in the metal forming village.

Come and discover our know-how.

Material price trends in the fourth quarter of 2023

While the third quarter saw a downward trend in steel prices, it seems that the low point has been reached.

The fourth quarter saw a slight upturn in prices.  In Europe, this was mainly the result of production cutbacks at major producers such as Arcelor Mittal and Tata Steel, which shut down several blast furnaces for maintenance and inspection.  This reduction in production volumes is also evident at global level, with output down by 5% in China.

This limitation of volumes has had its effect.  In Europe, this was coupled with specific measures in certain countries, such as Germany, to boost the competitiveness of their industry and thus maintain prices.

There has also been an increase of around 8% in motor vehicle production, particularly in Germany and China, which has supported price rises.

In the stainless steel market, the downward trend in alloy surcharges continued.  However, stainless steel prices remained relatively stable over the period because the rise in steel prices offset the fall in alloy surcharges.

For the beginning of 2024, depending on the commodity, the price of a tonne of steel will vary between €740 and €890 per tonne.

A fine example of Filame’s expertise: a tool for automatic press

Filame specialises in the mass production of parts on automatic presses using multi-step tools.

Filame’s design office designs, manufactures and maintains all the tools that Flame uses for its production.  Filame has thus developed unique know-how that enables it to guarantee its customers the production of the most complex parts.

For a major industrial group, Filame produced a tool for its 320 T automatic press, measuring 1600 * 800 mm and weighing around 2.5 tonnes.  This complex tool is used to make U-shaped rolled folds along the entire length of the part (200 mm), while at the same time making multiple cuts and folds inside the part.

You can watch this video.

Material price trends in the third quarter of 2023

The trend in steel prices was fairly uneven in the third quarter of 2023.

Rising interest rates, persistently high energy prices (even though they have fallen since the crisis in the summer of 2022), the automotive industry, which appears to be stagnating, and the construction industry, which is in decline, are leading to a downward trend in demand for raw materials and therefore for steel.

Furthermore, economic forecasts have been revised downwards in Europe and in most European countries, with Germany even threatening recession.  In addition, the fall in activity in China has meant that many Chinese producers have tried to export more at lower prices.  These increased imports have not yet been cleared through customs, as the quotas for the third quarter have been used up, but they will be in the fourth quarter, which could further depress steel prices.

Other Asian countries are experiencing the same situation, which is not improving demand for steel in general.

Prices per tonne of steel are therefore falling, to around €850 – €890 per tonne.  These are obviously base prices, as there are supplements for different qualities, thicknesses, widths and lengths.

Prices for alloy surcharges for the various categories of stainless steel are also trending slightly downwards.  This drop varies according to the quality of the stainless steel.

In view of these factors, it does not seem likely that prices will rise in the fourth quarter.  They may stabilise if the stimulus measures taken by certain countries begin to bear fruit.

Filame joins the MecaTech cluster

Filame has just joined the MecaTech cluster, the Walloon Region’s Mechanical Engineering competitiveness cluster (

Thanks to the diversity of its metalworking skills and its experience in numerous industrial sectors in Belgium, Europe and around the world, Filame will be able to provide the other members of the network with cutting-edge expertise to support their development and innovation projects and thus actively contribute to the development of the Walloon industrial eco-system.

Filame expands its quality control equipment

As part of the rapid development of its activities in certain high-tech sectors (automotive, aeronautics, etc.), and in order to respond even more quickly to the ever more demanding quality requirements of its customers in these sectors, Filame has strengthened its automatic control capacity by acquiring a new Keyence 8010 dimensional measurement system.

This measuring device, which complements the capabilities offered by Filame’s 3D inspection benches (Aberlink) for precise inspections, allows instantaneous and simultaneous measurements of several parts with a resolution of 2 µm.

This system allows for the simultaneous measurement of up to 300 dimensions in a matter of seconds without the need for positioning or referencing of surfaces and creates immediate inspection reports with automatic calculation of Cp and Cpk and trend curves.

Steel and stainless steel price developments in the second quarter of 2023

Steel prices were more or less stable in Europe in the first quarter.

However, due to certain incidents at the level of certain producers (blast furnace fire at Arcelor Mittal and planned maintenance at Tata Steel), there is a risk of a decrease in available tonnages. Arcelor has announced a reduction of 1 million tonnes.

This has already led to some increase in delivery times, but it cannot be excluded that supply will fall short of demand, which will have an effect on prices. We are already seeing a slight upward trend of between €50 and €100 per tonne in April compared to March. We must not forget to add to this the energy surcharges which vary from producer to producer between €100 and €200 per tonne.

Chinese production is currently almost entirely absorbed by the domestic market and Chinese companies will do everything in their power not to let prices fall. The same is true in Turkey, where domestic demand is strong after the earthquake and reconstruction needs.

As far as alloy surcharges for the various stainless steel grades are concerned, prices are also relatively stable. There was a slight upward push in February and March but in April prices are back to the level of January prices. These elements coupled with the evolution of steel prices do not currently indicate a likelihood of a strong increase in the short term.

Filame participates in the Global Industrie exhibition in Lyon

As every year Filame participates in the Global Industrie exhibition which will be held this year in Lyon from 7 to 10 March 2023.

This year Filame will be present at the French Metal Forming Village which brings together all the major French players in this field.

The Global Industrie exhibition is the leading industrial exhibition in Europe for the metalworking industry.  It brings together all the major international players in Europe

It brings together on a single site five areas of the metalworking industry: industrial subcontracting (which is Filame’s field), connected industry, production equipment, sheet metal work and measuring equipment.

We look forward to seeing you there to present Filame’s expertise in the manufacture of flat and wire parts.

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Evolution of material prices in 2023, what can we expect?

As Filame does on a regular basis, it questioned its panel of suppliers, mainly of steel and stainless steel, to get their forecasts for the next few months for the evolution of the price of these materials.

If the peak had been reached in April 2022, we witnessed a stabilisation and a fall during the third quarter of 2022 in the prices of steel and stainless steel and in particular of the alloy surcharge. However, from September onwards, there was a reversal of the trend and the end of 2022 confirms this reversal of the trend with a fairly significant rise.

This is due to several factors.

First of all, the global market and particularly Asia is booming.  China, which is the world’s largest steel producer with a market share of around 50%, has changed its strategy in several respects.  After a policy of restricting the real estate market to reduce its debt, which led to a sharp drop in housing sales and thus in steel production for this sector, China announced a series of stimulus measures for this sector.

In addition, China has eased its zero covid measures, which is leading to an improvement in demand in the Chinese market.

These two elements, among others linked to a certain recovery of consumption in this market, lead to an increase in the price of raw materials in this market.

In addition, Europe has decided to introduce a carbon tax for non-European companies, which will probably lead to an increase in steel import prices.  At the same time, there is a further reduction in production capacity in Europe.  Several central European mills have closed down blast furnaces, while producers with electric steel mills are shutting them down and restarting them, following the development of demand very closely.  In addition to maintaining prices by reducing supply, this has led to longer delivery times.

This decrease in supply is confronted with an increased demand for steel from the automotive market, which is expected to grow in 2023, particularly as a result of a reduction in supply problems for components such as conductive sills.  The effect is therefore that of an upward price trend.

In the case of stainless steel, an increase in the price of the alloy surcharge was observed in December and January, which was caused in particular by a sharp increase in the price of nickel.  The reasons for this increase are the same as those explained above for steel.  The trend was rather downward in the second and third quarter of 2022.  The increase in nickel prices is generally reflected in the prices of the alloy surcharge within two months.

This evolution will of course have to be correlated with the evolution of the economic situation in general and in particular with the effects that inflation may have on consumption and therefore investments.