Italian flat steel market to see ‘radical’ changes

Italy’s flat steel market could see “…radical changes in the next few months” due to the implementation of new anti-dumping duties and the uncertainties surrounding Ilva, Italian steel trade association Assofermet tells Kallanish.

The association claims that the duties imposed on Chinese-origin cold rolled products, and the ongoing investigations on imports of hot rolled coils will play a decisive role in changing the Italian supply chain.

The current practices of sourcing from extra-EU countries “…are about to change, as the new measure will remove one of the most significant and stable sources of the last years,” the document states. HRC accounted for approximately 65% of the steel imported into Italy in 2015, according to Assofermet.

“For a long time the competitive pressure determined by overcapacity, combined with the abundance of supply alternatives, including imports, has allowed distributors to benefit from a large bargaining power,” the association says. “The current and future environment is likely to see a greater regionalization of the supply chain, with domestic and European sources gaining market share over imports.”

According to the report, the Italian flat product market registered a positive performance in 2015 as “…distributors benefited from increases in consumption in almost all application areas, whilst Ilva recorded significant losses in terms of market share.”

The outlook for the retail sector remains potentially favourable, but “…it will be necessary to search for new suppliers who can provide the volumes we received from China and Russia,” Assofermet concludes.