Italian merchant bar deadlock continues

Italian long products sales activity continues to be slow this month. Buyers are refusing to purchase product, particularly merchant bar, and have only bought limited quantities this month, sources tell Kallanish.

Merchant bar prices remain on a declining trend. Contract values lost some €50/tonne ($53) compared to November and buyers believe the fall will continue in January. According to one source, unless prices fall much further below the level of €1,000/t ex-works, demand will not resume.

At present, values have reached €540-550/t base ex-works or €560/t base delivered. Including size extras, quotes are at €960-970/t ex-works.

Sections prices have also declined under the pressure of cheaper Spanish material, but demand remains more sustained compared to other long products. The first category of sections stands at €1,050-1,080/t ex-works, depending on tonnage and client, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France