German buyers of rebar do not expect much movement in prices before the end of the year. They are bowing somewhat to mills’ demands for higher prices but transactions are rare and small.
By mid-October, base prices had sunk to some €320/tonne ($349), translating to €585/t delivered, or even less. Then distributors went on a buying spree, filling their stocks, and mills were encouraged to raise offers. Their target of €370/t base – or €635/t delivered – has not been confirmed by anyone contacted by Kallanish, although one source admits to having paid €350/t for a small fill-in volume of rebar on short notice. Wire mesh was correspondingly sold for €450/t, he adds.
Nevertheless, the same buyer suggests that price levels could drop again, possibly to under October levels, in the next restocking wave in early 2024. “The mills are facing a massive shortcoming of demand next year,” he says, with reference to this year’s decline in orders for construction projects, especially for residential buildings. “Buyers will hold back their orders, in expectation of price concessions,” he predicts.
A manager at a large distribution group confirms this impression: “Demand is just too weak overall, and each side hopes the other will give in,” he says. “The few transactions occurring these days do not change the picture much. The price has not moved substantially since summer began.”
Christian Koehl Germany