Italian longs market standoff continues on lower consumption

Italian long product markets have remained uneventful this week, with some rebar prices falling and values for all other longs mostly stable.

Merchant bar sales continue to languish. Prices are flat so far on last week but buyers expect some decreases this month. Distributors who spoke to Kallanish report low consumption for merchant bar and some aggressive pricing from suppliers. Steelmakers continue to produce but are mulling some stoppages in October if demand does not pick up.

Distributors intend to remain in wait-and-see mode this month and only buy back-to-back. Including size extras, contract prices are flat on-month at €1,090-1,100/tonne ($1,077-1,087) ex-works, sources suggest.

Despite some aggressive prices from distributors and import sources, heavy sections are the only product for which demand is reported to be good. Sellers from other European countries such as Spain remain present in the market offering lower prices but not a large product range. Beam contract values for the first category remain flat at €1,220-1,230/t ex-works, depending on tonnage. Sellers believe market sentiment is currently worse than the reality of sales activity, as September was a good month for beams.

Natalia Capra France