German rebar price peak seen sustaining

The latest heights to which rebar prices have climbed in Germany could stay with the market for quite a while, many observers believe.

Base prices for straight bar from domestic mills in the course of April have risen to around €1,200/tonne ($1,279), if not more. The range of impressions is wide: while a big Benelux buyer still sees the lower end at €1,100, one German bender claims he paid way above €1,300 last week. The higher price could be an exception involving prompt delivery, but at least one mill source confirms the mark of €1,200 as realistic.

The source intimates to Kallanish that the mill took an unplanned break over Easter. In addition to the continued pressure from energy costs, April was also temporarily marked by a lack of scrap, which has now been overcome, he says.

Another mill has reportedly idled one of two furnaces for four weeks, and such stoppages and consequential cutback in volumes naturally add to the uptick in prices.

However, rebar supply on the whole seems to be sufficient, according to the manager of a large distribution group. “Demand on the market is good, and the mills can serve it. There may be occasional restrictions, but no reason to worry about that,” he says. In his opinion, the price level is stable and will remain so for months. “If anything, it may go up further,” he adds.

The mill source does not go quite as far with his forecast, but sees no grounds for a downward correction either. “That [downward correction] would surprise me, because the high costs of energy are here to stay with us for a long time,” he says.

Christian Koehl Germany