Rebar prices rose in Italy but dropped in Spain in the seven days ended Wednesday July 13, while mills will may prices higher this week across all long steel products amid surging energy costs, sources told Fastmarkets.
While prices for domestic rebar in Italy have been tumbling over the past month, significant boosts in demand indicate the price floor may have been reached and prices could recover, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €830-880 ($833-883) per tonne on Wednesday, up by €5-20 per tonne from €810-875 per tonne week on week.
Producers are likely to re-set prices higher this week before shutting for the low season to reopen at higher prices in August, market participants said.
“Demand is a little better in July, maybe because customers have finished stocks and now the need to buy before mills shut down for summer” adding that “constructions are going on, and as usual in July all sites are trying to accelerate before the August summer holidays,” a source told Fastmarkets.
With energy shortages and subsequent energy cost rises remaining uncertain, producers are wary about taking large-volume orders, Fastmarkets heard.
While international scrap prices have increased, European scrap is still under pressure. In Italy, domestic scrap prices have fallen by €100 per tonne month on month, in part due to increased supply as steel mills reduce production over the low season.
Declines in scrap prices, however, are not enough to compensate for surging energy costs. In July 2022, average electricity prices in Italy were around €400 per megawatt-hour, up from about €271 per MWh in June 2022 and sharply up from €103 per MWh in July 2021.
Despite scrap prices declining in Italy, mills are therefore still pushing for higher prices, Fastmarkets heard.
While demand and prices remained depressed for domestic rebar in Spain, a price trend reversal could be possible due to increasing input costs, market sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain was €760-780 ($763-783) per tonne on Wednesday, down by €20 per tonne from €780-800 per tonne the previous week.
Weak demand, low trading activity and a wait-and-see attitude in the market continued to prevail, causing prices for Spanish rebar to drop further in the week.
However, with mills like ArcelorMittal due to raise prices by as much as €60 in the coming week, an uptrend appears to be likely, Fastmarkets heard. Sources expected buyers to return to the market for restocking in the upcoming weeks, sources told Fastmarkets.
Decreasing international scrap costs since mid-April have been a major factor in the falling rebar market, but prices began to increase last week. International scrap prices have since begun to flatten amid religious holidays in Middle Eastern countries.
Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $398.48 per tonne on Tuesday July 12, up from $371.50 the previous week.
Published by: India-Inés Levy