Italian rebar market bullish on rising energy costs; prices stable in Spain

Italian rebar producers and buyers alike remained bullish regarding future price increases amid rising input costs.
Despite prevailing optimism about a future uptrend, demand remained slow and market activity was quiet in the week to Wednesday March 15, sources said.

Fastmarkets price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €730-760 ($782-814) per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing upwards by €5 per tonne from €725-760 last week.

Energy costs are expected to rise in the Italian rebar market following an announcement from the Italian government that support provided to steel producers to lower energy costs could be reduced starting from April 1, Fastmarkets heard.

Despite the fact that energy costs have been dropping considerably over 2023, mills in Italy have been provided with ongoing support from the government.

With the government reducing these subsidies, energy costs could weigh heavier on production costs and support price increases, Fastmarkets heard.

“Prices are expected to move upwards in the next two weeks due to sharp and fast increases in scrap prices and significant reductions in energy cost support granted to certain heavy industries by the Italian government starting from April 1 onwards,” a producer source said.

Despite the expected price increases, demand remained subdued.

“The market is quiet, and prices are stable since last week,” another source told Fastmarkets.

“Prices are the same as last week and little has changed in terms of market fundamentals,” a trader source said. “However, scrap prices are increasing a lot, so we expect prices to start rising.”

Rising input costs could support future price rises in the Spanish rebar market, Fastmarkets heard.

Rebar prices were stable week on week.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain was €740-770 per tonne on Wednesday unchanged week on week.

International scrap prices, which have been rising since December 2022, have affected the price of all long steel products.

Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $459.26 per tonne on March 15, up from $456.26 per tonne last week.

Published by: India-Inés Levy