Assofermet: Italian scrap prices make an unexpected recovery

The month of October in Italy was characterized by an unexpected recovery in Italian scrap prices and decent demand in the market, Assofermet, the association representing Italian distributors of scrap, raw materials and steel products, writes in its latest press release.“The fall in the price of gas with consequent lower costs for all energy-intensive companies has created favorable conditions for a recovery in steel production,” writes the association, adding, “We’re talking about an overall increase of about €20/mt [in Italian scrap prices], but we must pay attention to the precariousness of the Italian economic trend, which lacks certainty.

“Considering, however, that the availability of scrap produced is 50 percent lower than in previous years, a new price reduction seems difficult to forecast even in the event of a contraction in demand,” Assofermet stated.

In the international ferrous scrap segment, October was characterized by a rather slow market without any significant movements, Assofermet noted. In Turkey, the scrap market was stable overall with a moderate but steady reduction in prices, while the Asian markets, particularly India, provided an alternative for the major scrap exporters in the first part of the month. In Europe, demand was steady, albeit weak, and the price difference of around €30-40/mt between the French and German markets and the Italian market, where prices were lower, continued. In Belgium and northern Europe, on the other hand, production cuts are expected, which will have an impact on scrap prices.

In the stainless steel scrap segment, the European market recorded an upturn in purchases in the first part of October, although not yet at a very high level, “continuing without further changes with stable prices and not particularly interesting demand”.

Purchases increased at the beginning of November, followed by a reduction in exports to the Asian continent, particularly India, which remains a large buyer but at reduced price levels.

In Italy, on the other hand, purchases by the big players resumed with slightly rising prices.

A further drop characterized the price of pig iron: overall demand and availability are good and there is still a diversity of quotations according to the country of origin and the producer.

Price and demand stability were confirmed in October in the hematite pig iron market. “The November scenario,” writes Assofermet, “appears positive at the moment, albeit with due caution, also thanks to some glimmer of an easing in the pressure on energy costs”.