Italian longs’ market activity restarts quietly

The Italian prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended the country’s lockdown until 3 May. The steel sector is gradually resuming shipping, sales activity and production as companies are being authorised to work with the necessary hygienic precautions specified by regional authorities, Kallanish learns from market participants.

Most wire rod, beam, merchant bar and rebar producers will be open this week and will be producing and shipping last month’s orders. Distributors will also be open to ship and receive material. Sales activity however is practically non-existent and there are no new prices for long products as mills are quoting pre-lockdown March prices. Despite the restart, sales are not seen resuming this week. Purchasing groups have seen their own sales collapse and have had no turnover, while the companies which are part of the purchasing groups are dealing with liquidity issues, Kallanish hears.

Merchant bar remains at €50-60/tonne ($54.7-65.6/t) base ex-works on average, or €75/t delivered. Including an average €420/t for size extras, transaction prices for domestic material remain at €470-480/t ex-works. Rebar prices are at €400-410/t ex-works while the first category of beams is at €550/t ex-works including €380-385/t size extras, sources say.

This month, mills are buying scrap at €20-25/t less than in March, Kallanish notes.