French rebar sales stagnate

The French rebar market remains subdued in July with continued low orders and uncertainty. Distributors say some customers have a better visibility thanks to orders coming from the infrastructure sector, but the weak performance of private residential construction is weighing on rebar sales volumes, Kallanish notes.

In June and July so far, distributors have continued to work with very low order books. Deals are being agreed for single days only, while visibility is zero. Customers are keeping their stocks low.

Some sales improvement is hoped for in the coming days as customers will need to buy some volumes for September, but no forecasts are possible considering the current low consumption and activity downstream remaining quiet. This is being exacerbated by the holiday period, which in France starts with the 14 July bank holiday.

Rebar prices remain stable on-month, after sentiment in the construction industry deteriorated. Apart from some orders for infrastructure projects, the majority of weekly rebar contracts are being carried out only back-to-back. Distributors say sales volumes can be as low as 25-50 tonnes.

Incursion of lower-priced Italian and Spanish material is being reported in the south, while German material is competing with domestic rebar in the north. Domestic rebar prices are hovering at €590-640/tonne ($661-717) delivered including size extras, depending on tonnage, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France