Italian merchant bar, beam prices flatten

Italian demand for merchant bar and beams is said to have cooled down in July due to the current high prices, distribution and production sources tell Kallanish.

July is seasonally one of the best months for Italian longs but as prices remain elevated the large distributors are refusing to restock and purchases only happen back-to-back. Agents however say that despite the calm, sales targets are being reached and volumes remain at good levels. Beam producers in particular have long lead-times stretching to the beginning of September. Demand for beams and merchant bars from other European countries continues to be strong. Italian steelmakers are shipping large volumes to Eastern Europe, Germany and France.

Domestic values for merchant bars remain at €470-490/tonne ($557-580) base ex-works, or €890-910/t ex-works including size extras. The first category of beams is at €600-610/t base ex-works, or €985-990/t ex-works. Offers from the distributors are at €1,050-1, 060/t on average for the first category. Values increase by €20/t for each subsequent category, sources say.

Natalia Capra France