French steel distribution and scrap sectors remain moribund

French steel end-users, scrap merchants and distributors are anticipated to remain inactive this week with steel sales and deliveries at a minimum level, sources tell Kallanish.

As French authorities extend the country’s lockdown until 11 May, companies and building sites are allowed to work with the necessary precautions on hygiene. Some scrap merchants are also reopening but they are only working part-time and not selling. They have laid off workers due to the collapse in demand, Kallanish hears.

Distributors have received no new orders apart from those received before the lockdown, sources suggest. They have not invoiced or been asked for material over the past 4 weeks. “The trouble is not that we cannot work, the trouble is that there is no demand at all, nothing is actually happening and even if there is a restart it will be long and painful,” a source says.

There is little market activity in France and no price movement. All steel prices remain at the levels registered before the lockdown. Local rebar is at €200/tonne ($219/t) delivered plus average size extras of €260/t, while merchant bar prices remain at an average level of €60/t base ex-works excluding €420/t size extras, sources reveal.