Italian longs market remains in a lull

The Italian long steel market remains in a lull this week, with sales few and far between. Sources who spoke to Kallanish say May has been virtually the slowest month of the year and hope for a market recovery in June.

The global wave of declining steel prices together with the collapse in scrap values are causing the distribution sector to remain in a wait-and-see mood. Distributors’ customers are also not buying because they fear the looming economic downturn and uncertainty connected to the Ukraine war. Sources believe prices will continue to fall also due to reduced demand, which is said to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Long products prices however are holding better than flats, losing an average of €50/tonne ($53) versus April, depending on product. This is apart from rebar prices that are sliding significantly.

Merchant bar is currently at €800-830/tonne base ex-works. Including size extras, domestic contracts are hovering at €1,220-1,250/t ex-works, sources suggest.

Meanwhile, demand is also slowing for beams. Domestic material is competing with lower import prices from other European countries, but local buyers are only purchasing back-to-back and refusing to commit to lengthy import lead times. The first category of sections is holding at €1,440-1,450/t ex-works, including size extras.

Natalia Capra France