Increased feedstock costs push prices higher in Southern European rebar market; wire rod prices stable

Higher feedstock costs, production cuts and small tonnage restocking before Christmas holiday closures led to price rises in the Italian and Spanish rebar market, with wire rod prices remaining stable, Fastmarkets heard on Wednesday December 6.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €640-670 ($690-723) per tonne on Wednesday, up by €30-40 per tonne week on week from €610-630 per tonne.

Prices in the rebar market rose because mills targeted higher prices, sources said, adding that they were unsure whether an increase would be accepted by the market.

Production cuts, high scrap costs and high stable energy costs let to higher prices, Fastmarkets heard.

“Mills are increasing prices again. Customers are a little disoriented by this uptrend, they are worried that prices will go down again in January, so they have many doubts whether they have to buy or not. Producers say that this new increase is due to growing energy costs  and issues in finding scrap,” a trader source said.

“Steel mills are proposing higher prices, but I don’t know if anyone is buying at these levels,” another buyer source said.

But mill sources were bullish that the market would support price rises given constrained supply.

“Last week, all producers announced big price increases on the domestic market,” a producer source said. “A lack of scrap, raw steel and billet imports for producers who mix their steel production with imported billets and ever-rising energy costs resulted in mills increasing prices. Dwindling stocks have given mills more leverage.”

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, delivered Spain was €620-655 per tonne, up by €30-40 per tonne week on week from €590-615 per tonne.

Southern European wire rod

The price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh quality) domestic, delivered Southern Europe was €600-620 per tonne on Wednesday, stable week on week.

Market participants expected further upward price pressure in the wire rod market amid reduced stock and high feedstock costs, Fastmarkets heard.

Published by: India-Inés Levy