Continued low consumption depresses French rebar market

French rebar prices have declined only slightly compared to the beginning of February, but what concerns both buyers and sellers is low consumption and weaker on-year turnover registered throughout the value chain. With no change from last month, market sources are reporting back-to-back sales and no willingness to restock, Kallanish notes.

Customers who used to book rebar and mesh tonnages in the tens of thousands are now buying a few thousand tonnes per month. Sales of all finished long products are being dragged down by a stagnating private construction sector and weak economic growth.

No production stoppages are planned at longs mills for now, but sources believe that if orders continue to be subdued, some stoppages might be needed to balance demand and supply. Processing costs remain too high for mills to be able to continue producing and selling the current small volumes.

Purchasing groups also report buying less than usual as their members declare low visibility. They are continuing to book material in other EU countries, trying to find the best available deal.

French rebar values are hovering at €620-630/tonne ($672-683) delivered on average, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France