The uneventful market and little appetite to buy are slowing Italian long products trading. Sources who spoke to Kallanish say that sales occurred only back-to-back in April and the distribution sector has adopted a wait-and-see attitude, due also to unsustainably high prices.
This follows the booming month of March when a significant re-stocking process was responsible for very high sales volumes.
No more price increases are envisaged for the moment in Italy. Despite the sluggish demand, however, sales prices remain stable month-on-month and elevated on account of the production stoppages implemented by steelmakers during energy peak hours.
Merchant bar is currently at €800-890/tonne ($845-941/t) base ex-works, mostly stable compared to the previous week. The level of €890/t has been achieved for very low quantities. Including size extras, domestic contracts are hovering at €1,220-1,310/t ex-works, sources suggest.
Meanwhile, stable prices are also reported for sections. The first category of sections remains at €1,500-1,540/t ex-works, including size extras. Limited availability continues to persist for both merchant bar and beams. Some sources forecast that if the slow demand continues in May, longs prices will decline some €20-30/t.
Natalia Capra France