Italian sections prices decline slightly on stagnating market

The Italian merchant bar market continues to be stagnant. Mill sources and distributors report low consumption and strong competition from other European countries. Consumption is generally slow in Europe, two EU mills sources confirm, and prices are on a downward trend, Kallanish hears.

Buyers continue to purchase only back-to-back. Domestic merchant bar values are hovering at €320-330/tonne ($345-356) base delivered, reflecting an average €20/t on-month fall. Including size extras, prices are at €740-750/t, sources suggest. Domestic material is suffering from competition of imported European merchant bar offered and sold at below €300/t base delivered.

Demand for Italian sections continues to be weak and has been poor since the beginning of the year. Sections are also suffering from competition from cheaper imported material, with some distributors looking for volumes and implementing heavy discounts, sources tell Kallanish.

In the fourth quarter last year, beams sales volumes increased in Italy and some apparent demand resurfaced. Some purchases to replenish stocks are forecast towards the end of the month. So far in February, the first category of beams is flat on-month, hovering at €800-820/t, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France