Italian raw materials market quiet persists, Assofermet

The Italian scrap market remains particularly uncertain. The long summer stoppages implemented by steelmakers in August and extended this month continue to impact scrap deliveries and prices, Italian steel trade association Assofermet says in its monthly market note received by Kallanish.

The market’s hot topic at the moment is the cost of energy throughout the value chain, the evolution of which is hard to predict. The entire European industry is now holding its breath for the expected EU decision on an energy cap.

In Italy, domestic scrap prices registered some increases for the lower grades in the last days of August and first days of September, but sales volumes have been very limited so far. The suppliers’ main concern is now the weak level of demand from steelmakers rather than low scrap prices. While availability remains at good levels the series of price increases announced by mills on finished products may cause scrap purchased by merchants to become more expensive, Assofermet forecasts.

“From the last week of August onwards, we have witnessed several attempts by all European, Northern African and Turkish steelmakers to push up the prices of finished products driven by the inflationary wave and expensive energy. We wonder if demand, even if not brilliant, will be able to absorb part of these increases,” the note says.

Meanwhile, the pig iron market in Italy and internationally is still quiet. Neither transactions nor a demand revival have been registered since the last week of August and the attempted price increases in the Turkish market last month have not been successful. In Italy the mills’ focus is now on energy, heavily impacting all production plans. Despite weak demand, pig iron availability is also good, Assofermet concludes.

Natalia Capra France