Distributors and agents in Italy are lamenting a very bad September and October in terms of margins, sales and general activity. Some sources say that compared to last year, sales across flat and long products have dropped 35-40%.
On long products, one mill source forecasts consumption to remain at current levels, not only in the fourth quarter but also in Q1 2024. Talking about prices, a distributor tells Kallanish: “If they [producers] did not manage to push up coils [prices], with practically no possibility of importing, they will not manage in this quiet market to increase longs prices. We see very little activity downstream. Our clients have limited orders. From now until Christmas, sellers and buyers forecast prices to fall between €30-50/tonne depending on product.”
Merchant bar values are on a downward trajectory, losing some €30/t ($31) compared to September. Transactions are occurring at €300-320/t base ex-works. Including size extras, prices are hovering at €720-740/t.
Sections, the product that has been more stable compared to all other longs, is also weakening by €30/t on average versus September, under pressure from cheaper imported material. Its values now stand at €800-820/t on average.
However, sources are not pessimistic about the beams market and say that while apparent demand is absent, real demand continues to be reliable despite the steel sector downturn. Distributors are chasing orders and discounting heavily when possible.
Natalia Capra France