Long steel producer Celsa France and Intersig France, a subsidiary of the Van Merksteijn International Group (VMI Group), the largest European independent manufacturer of steel wires, have signed a commercial agreement to supply the French rebar market, the two companies said June 10.
Celsa will supply wire rod from its Bayonne, France, mill to VMI Group for processing, the group’s French unit, VMI Atlantic, said in a statement. VMI Atlantic is installing new stretching lines to process the rebars into rebar on coils under the registered name “Flex Wire,” it said.
Celsa in Bayonne has one electric-arc furnace with a capacity of 1.2 million mt of crude steel. It also has a billet rolling line and will add a wire rod rolling mill in the next couple of months, Celsa said in its own statement. Celsa France plans to start production at its new rolling mill, which will have a production capacity of 550,000 mt/y, before the end of the current financial year, and thus start supplying both Intersig France and the rest of its French customers, Celsa said.
The agreement will increase vertical integration along the supply chain in France and will boost supplies of locally manufactured and supplied steel, Celsa said.
According to market sources, apparent and real demand for rebar and wire rod is strong across Europe as supply is limited, in particular for rebar in coils, also due to the safeguards put in place by the European Commission that are limiting the imports of products into the EU.The Platts weekly Northern EU rebar benchmark has increased Eur245/mt since end-2020 to Eur790 ex-works on June 4, the date of the latest available data.
“With this alliance the Group culminates in time and form, in an environment of maximum difficulty due to the pandemic, the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 thanks to the start-up of the rolling mill, its main industrial objective, whose construction has meant a total investment of Eur60 million,” Celsa Group Chairman and CEO Francesc Rubiralta said.
Van Merksteijn Group is a family-owned company based in the Netherlands whose portfolio includes wire in coil, reinforcement mesh (including ECO and ECO+ mesh), lattice girders, spacers and fencing products. The group has a total rod processing capacity of 2.3 million mt/year with its subsidiaries in Almelo, the Netherlands; Dendermonde, Belgium; and Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, France. VMI’s mill in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule has a rebar in coils capacity of 60,000-70,000 mt/year, while the mesh plant will have a capacity of 50,000 mt/year.
Celsa Group is Europe’s largest rebar producer and is the largest recycler in Spain and the second-largest in Europe, recycling 8 million mt/year of ferrous scrap. The group’s activity accounts for up to 1.3% of Spain’s industrial GDP, 0.7% of its exports in the industrial sector and 9.9% in the metallurgical sector.
— Annalisa Villa