Italian sections suppliers hold prices despite weak demand

Italian sections prices are flattening month-on-month, while sales activity is sluggish mostly due to the current high level of prices putting off buyers, Kallanish hears.

The largest sections mill in the market is quoting and obtaining orders at €670-680/tonne ($766-777) for the first category of beams. Prices increase by €20/t for each subsequent category. Contract prices remain this week at €670-675/t base ex-works. Including €380-390/t average size extras, contract prices for the first category of sections are hovering at €1,050-1,070/t ex-works, depending on volumes, sources suggest.

Meanwhile, merchant bar prices are also flattening compared to last week at €510-520/t base ex-works. Including size extras, values stand at €930-940/t ex-works. Sellers are unwilling to negotiate despite the weak demand, particularly for merchant bar. Buyers continue to purchase back-to-back. In January, sellers reported some restocking as distributors reached the end of last year with low stocks.

Distributors say that because of the current high prices, activity downstream is slow and many end-users are putting off their purchases or changing selling strategies.

Natalia Capra France