The Italian long steel market remains quiet as some mills resumed activity last week and others are restarting production this week. Both mill and distribution sources expect the quiet to persist even as demand returns properly next week. Buyers remain on the fence looking at national and international raw material and finished products trends for guidance, Kallanish notes.
No price increases for merchant bar, sections, wire rod and rebar are expected in the coming weeks and the market indicates current and future price stability considering the subdued consumption seen in the past months. While Italy, France and Spain have been quiet due to the seasonal August break, other markets which are traditionally dynamic in August have also been quiet this year with many executives still on holiday. Italian sellers report very limited export sales in August across all long products.
Prices for merchant bar are flat at €340-360/tonne ($368-390) base ex-works. Including size extras, domestic values are at €760-780/t ex-works, while the first category of sections is hovering at €830-850/t ex-works including size extras. Drawing quality wire rod is also reported flat at €570-580/t delivered and rebar prices are flat at €600-630/t including size extras with demand low, Kallanish notes.
End-users are said to have some work despite the general wait-and-see attitude and low visibility. Long product demand is said to be at pre-pandemic levels. Some distributors talk about a consumption similar to that of 2017.
Natalia Capra France