Italian rebar ends year stable, January hike uncertain

Italian rebar prices are stable compared to last week despite the hike attempted in recent days by local steelmakers. Market activity is now gradually fading apart from the last few orders before the market shuts down for the Christmas holiday break, market sources tell Kallanish.

This week, mills are asking for €520-530/tonne ($553-563), down from last week’s €550/t base ex-works. Agents and sales executives say the level of orders has increased in December, but prices have so far remained mostly stable in the range of €500-520/t base ex-works. Including size extras, domestic rebar prices have flattened at €760-790/t ex-works. Mesh also remains at €610-620/t ex-works base, sources suggest.

Most mills will idle production on Thursday this week and reopen on 9 January. Next month may bring some price increases, in line with expectations of hiking energy costs. Buyers however report “fragile and unreliable” demand from their clients and believe January contract levels will remain below €800/t ex-works, even in the case of energy increases.

While in other European countries sources expect scrap prices to hike next month, Italian scrap buyers believe January demand from mills will be sustained but prices are forecast to remain at December levels.

Natalia Capra France