Bullish sentiment prevails in Spanish rebar market; Italian producers also targeting higher prices

A pick-up in demand and price levels is expected in the Spanish rebar market, while Italian long steel producers also pushing for increases despite weak demand in Italy, sources told Fastmarkets this week.
Spanish steel mills are seeking higher rebar prices after demand improved in the week to Wednesday March 8, sources told Fastmarkets.

But while sentiment in the Spanish rebar market has shown signs of improving, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain, was €740-770 per tonne on Wednesday unchanged week-on-week.

“Mills are trying to increase prices as a result of increasing input costs,” one producer source said.

“Demand is, however, improving and buyers are looking for tonnages as they are afraid of future [price] hikes,” he added.

International prices for steel scrap – the key raw material for all long steel products – have been rising since December 2022.

Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $456.26 per tonne on March 8, up from $445.00 per tonne a week earlier.

In Italy, meanwhile, market activity remained inhibited by slow demand. Even so, producers are confident that their latest price increases will be accepted by the market.

Fastmarkets price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €725-760 ($764-801) per tonne on Wednesday, stable week-on-week.

Sentiment was mixed among market participants in the Italian rebar market.

While most producer sources do expect prices to rise over the coming week, buyers continued to cite weak demand and remained skeptical about whether the market fundamentals could support any increases.

“Since the beginning of March, we have seen an upward trend [and] this upward trend has consolidated [this week],” a producer source told Fastmarkets.

But while also forecasting a future uptrend, other market participants said prices would remain unchanged for now.

“Prices have remained stable, with deals being done at the same level as last week,” a trader source said.

“We already have new orders for the coming week that are arriving at €20 per tonne higher, but these deals are for very small tonnages,” he added.

And other sources were more skeptical about price rises.

“Rebar producers are trying to raise their prices and have announced new offers, but demand is still low and selling is [taking place] at lower levels, [both in terms of] quantities and [compared with] offer prices,” another trader source said.

“At the moment, customers are not digesting these increased prices, so they don’t buy so much,” he added.

Published by: India-Inés Levy