The Italian wire rod market is becoming quiet as the sector is shutting down for the August break. Prices recovered towards end-July as sales improved over the last two weeks of the month and first days of August.
Sellers who spoke to Kallanish have noticed some return of apparent demand in recent days despite the general level of activity being weaker than in the same period last year. Distributors and drawing mills are now adopting a wait-and-see attitude and all purchasing decisions, even at large buyers, are being put off until September.
Energy prices continue to climb in Italy, eroding producers’ margins, and are seen skyrocketing again in September. Buyers however say they have orders, and some have purchased large quantities of drawing-quality wire rod from North Africa and other regions. At present, imported material is sold at €800-820/tonne ($815-835) cfr Italy for September delivery, but some North African producers are quoting €860-870/t cfr for October delivery, sources say.
Sales prices from local steelmakers remain stable at €870-920/t ex-works for drawing-quality material. Mills are now seeking €920/t ex-works, Kallanish hears.
Natalia Capra France