Demand drives up northern European rod prices

Northern European wire rod prices continued to increase this week due to firm demand in Europe, sources say. Participants, however, do not expect values to rise further before year-end due to the approaching Christmas holidays and drawing mills’ limited production amid high costs.

“There is higher demand this month so far, which has influenced prices in the European market,” one buyer from the Netherlands tells Kallanish.

The increase is for around €10-20/tonne ($11-22/t), sources say.

Domestic transaction prices for drawing-quality wire rod are at €640/t ($689/t) ex-works and mesh-grade wire rod is at €650/t.

Producers are asking for €660/t ex-works, on average, for mesh-quality rod.

“The wire rod market shows signs of new activity, but I don’t expect prices to continue to increase much in the next two weeks until Christmas, because [wire] production in Europe remains very costly,” another participant in the market notes. “European [drawing] mills will start to restock from the middle of January for February bookings. Imports also continue not to impact the market this month.”

Offers are being heard from outside the EU at €580-590/t cfr Rotterdam, with very small tonnages being booked.

At the same time, European scrap values increased in November due to exports. German old thick scrap sort 3 is at €320/t, while new scrap sort 2/8 was at €325-330/t. E40 shredded scrap was at €330/t. In Austria, scrap prices remained flat for new scrap sort 2/8, which is at €325/t, and old thick scrap sort 3 remains at €320/t.

Italian wire rod prices are also increasing by €30/t on costlier raw materials and increased production costs (see separate story). Drawing-quality wire rod transactions are rising to €650/t delivered this month. Most drawing mills, distributors and wire rod mills will shut down on around 20 December for the winter holidays and reopen after 6 January.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria