Although reduced, in line with all long products, Italian demand for sections has remained reliable in October and November so far. Prices have been dragged down on-month, however, by cheaper imports and the general negative sentiment pervading the distribution sector.
Distributors and agents say they managed to achieve acceptable results in October and this month, thanks to beam sales, with purchases continuing for small but frequent volumes. The product continues to enjoy a balance between supply and demand thanks to the numerous production slowdowns over recent months. Sales are seen slowing towards the second half of November, in view of the slower seasonal period in December.
Distribution activity is stagnating. One company reports reaching its targets thanks to beams and other higher value-added products sales last month, but order intake for December-delivery is now slowing. An agent agrees on the good order intake for beams in October. The fist category of beams is hovering at €785/tonne ($852) delivered on average, Kallanish notes.
Meanwhile, prices seem to have reached rock bottom for merchant bar. Values remain stable on-week at €690-710/t ex-works including extras, Italian sources suggest.
Natalia Capra France