Italian longs prices flatten before stoppages

Some Italian long steel producers are reporting good order books in July, with prices seen stable until the end of the month.

Despite buyers pushing for values to decline, considering lower Europe-wide consumption, Italian steelmakers are not envisaging any price decrease, particularly in view of the upcoming production stoppages. These have already started for certain products such as merchant bar and rebar, and will continue through August.

Besides the high costs of energy steelmakers are facing in Italy, a tug of war is happening between scrap merchants asking for increases and producers seeking lower prices. Steelmakers, whose margins are being significantly squeezed by the high cost of production, will not be able to increase scrap prices in August.

“The domestic scrap market remains very tense, and the mood of the merchants is clearly bullish. Some Italian producers seem to have granted some moderate increases to guarantee continuity of supply. Talking about price drops on the Italian rebar market is completely out of place,” one mill source tells Kallanish.

In terms of prices and volumes, rebar, mesh and wire rod continue to be weak. “The are no realistic possibilities of recovery” at present, says a source. September is also not seen bringing any significant change in consumption, apart from a possible temporary restocking.

Rebar prices are flat compared to last week, at €600/tonne ($674) ex-works on average including size extras. Wire rod also remains unchanged, at €570-580/t delivered, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France