French rebar sellers report disappointing January

Sources in the French rebar sector are reporting a rather weak level of sales in January and forecasting a similar level of order intake in February, Kallanish hears.

Participants say this is part of the “new consumption normal”.

The local construction sector is going through a period of strong uncertainty and considerably lower private residential sales. The economic downturn is contributing to sluggish sales. Distributors say their clients have very low stocks but the rule today is to keep light stocks and buy only when necessary, without committing to any higher volumes.

“Demand is still there but consumers’ confidence is low and nobody wants to take a risk,” a seller says. Domestic prices are relatively stable compared to the end of January, with a few offers heard from Italian producers who are quoting prices some €20-30/tonne ($21-32) higher than French suppliers. Some offers from Spain, however, are reported in southern France, but the appetite for material remains limited.

Domestic rebar prices have lost some €40-50/t on December. Including size extras, contracts are hovering at €700-730/t delivered, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France