French rebar activity weakens in May

May has been a month of poor orders for French rebar. Quiet activity persists, with material only being bought back-to-back, while export sales to other European markets have reduced considerably.

Distribution sources say last week was slightly livelier in terms of rebar orders but new construction projects in France are being postponed. Buyers’ stocks are said to be relatively low as is the market’s appetite for material. Demand in May has been for one or two truckloads each week. Local mills are implementing production cuts but, given the deadlock in the European construction industry, this does not seem to be having a positive effect on consumption.

After falling in the first half of the month, domestic rebar prices are now keeping mostly stable. Values are at between €650-680/tonne ($697-729) delivered, depending on volume and customer, Kallanish notes.

French private residential construction permits have been falling this year together with the number of new building sites. French construction federation Fédération Française du Bâtiment (FFB) reported earlier this month that in the first quarter construction permits fell by 31% year-on-year.

Natalia Capra France