The Italian and European rebar markets seem to be normalising after a very challenging second quarter, Marco Sbaraini, chief commercial officer at Italian group Feralpi, said during a webinar on Tuesday.
“We are coming out of a surreal three months. After the start of the conflict in Ukraine, prices surged a lot due to speculation and fear. Then, during the April-June quarter, we saw almost no demand from the market, as buyers decided to wait and use their available stocks,” Sbaraini said. “Since the beginning of July, we have noticed a normalisation of the market, with demand coming back.”
Sbaraini said that, since May, Italian and European steelmakers have significantly reduced their output to face the slump in demand. He noted this trend will continue into August.
“The big price corrections should be over and we should be preparing for a more stable market,” Sbaraini added. “It is important also to add that fundamentals for construction in Europe remain good due to the expectation of further investments as part of the Next Generation EU plan.”
According to Kallanish price series, rebar prices in Italy have now returned to just below €800/tonne ($819) ex-works base, exactly where they were before Russia started its invasion of Ukraine in late February. “It seems like a circle has been closed now. We need to admit that when prices reached their peak at above €1,100/t, the construction sector really struggled to continue operating,” Sbaraina explained.
Emanuele Norsa Italy