Italian re-rollers seek increases

Italian re-rollers are in the process of decreasing tube discounts. Some intend to accelerate the price increase with the objective of catching up with hot rolled coil prices hikes.

Welded tube values in Italy and the rest of Europe are lagging behind HRC values by some €50/tonne ($53), sources in the market tell Kallanish.

While demand remains patchy, depending on end-user sector, welded tube prices continue to increase by one or two points per week, reaching 30-31 points in Italy. Each point of discount is equal to €12-13/t depending on product. After consolidating at the level of 30, re-rollers intend to reach 25 points gradually by 1 March.

While some end-users, like the automotive and appliances sectors, continue to order less material, demand is being sustained from the infrastructure, construction, energy, yellow goods and tractors sectors. Overall demand is more positive compared to the fourth quarter last year, despite the distribution sector’s careful purchasing attitude.

Discounts in Italy reached some 36 points in December. Domestic asking values for HRC are now at some €800-820/t base ex-works.

Natalia Capra France