Italian wire rod stagnation continues

The Italian wire rod market is in a deadlock that has continued over the past five months with some intermittent spells of demand resumption. Economic stagnation and uncertainty are limiting domestic but also import sales, with buyers speaking about a significant consumption reduction after the post-Covid rush, market participants tell Kallanish.

Drawing mills and distributors are in no need of material, and falling prices are not enticing them to purchase. Sales are occurring still only for small volumes. Some clients have been implementing production stoppages due to the reduced demand. In Italy, two producers are currently idled, taking advantage of the slow market to revamp equipment. No resulting shortage of material has been registered in the market, however.

Local values for drawing-quality material have reached €660-680/tonne ($706-728) ex-works, while imported material from North Africa is offered at some €650/t cfr Italy, sources suggest.

Meanwhile, northern European wire rod prices fell last week due to low demand and a slow market. Domestic transaction prices for drawing-quality wire rod were at €690/t ex-works and mesh-grade wire rod at €710/t, sources say (see Kallanish 3 February).

Natalia Capra France