German rebar market holds breath amid international correction

Activity in the German rebar market has subsided to the point that mills have stopped giving offer prices, Kallanish hears from observers.

“There is no daily price at the moment, you’d have to negotiate individually,” a manager of a distributor group says. This situation is mainly the result of the wide gap to prices in other countries, and the downturn in scrap prices. “The sentiment now, on Friday 13th, is that everybody holds still, and nobody wants to seize the blade of a falling knife,” he warns.

While orders are largely held back nowadays, the base prices that would be paid were deals to be concluded would be well under the peak of €1,100/tonne ($1,145) reached in April. Adding the size extra of €265, those peak levels translated to €1,365 delivered. And that was only the minimum of a range that differed widely between mills, inching up to €1,200 base, with some buyers reporting transactions well above that.

It was a period of panic for some, “and whoever needed to refill urgently, also with a view on the disruptions seen for a while in logistics, would pay more,” the manager explains.

Another buyer notes that the higher price mark was set by the southern German mills, and reported by customers buying there regularly for the sake of guaranteed supply and wide product range. “I had a talk with one mill a week ago, and I told them they are far off the real market, when they were €200 above the European average,” he opines.

Christian Koehl Germany