Italian rebar producers were targeting higher prices in the week to Wednesday November 2, thus reversing the downtrend which has been occurring across long steel markets in Europe. Prices for rebar in the Spanish market remained stable.Depressed demand and an uncertain outlook continued to inhibit trading activity in both markets, sources told Fastmarkets.
Rebar producers targeted higher prices despite slow demand and ongoing pessimistic sentiment, Fastmarkets heard.
Mills were looking to target and maintain higher prices until Christmas, sources said.
Whether demand is sufficient to absorb these higher prices remains uncertain, they added.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €860-890 ($853-883) per tonne on Wednesday, up by €30-55 per tonne from €805-860 per tonne on October 26.
Slow end-user consumption and persistent destocking, in part due to projects being postponed or cancelled, have inhibited demand levels.
Despite no significant increase in demand, Italian producers targeted higher prices in the week to Wednesday.
“Since last Wednesday producers have established new higher prices and they don’t want to sell cheaper than this,” a buyer in Italy said. “I think that they will try to sell at a higher price till Christmas closures.”
With market conditions not expected to improve for the remainder of the year, it remains to be seen whether these prices can be maintained, sources said.
Production cuts have not affected prices because of the ongoing supply-demand imbalance, sources added.
At the same time, energy costs are expected to surge toward winter as demand increases, sources said. Rising prices for rebar in Italy would help cushion mills against rocketing energy prices.
Overall appetite for imports remained depressed, Fastmarkets heard.
“Imports to the south have always been most attractive when domestic prices have reached high levels,” a second buyer in the region said. “With prices going down since the middle of September, imports have become rare.”
Prices remained stable in the Spanish rebar market in the week to Wednesday, Fastmarkets heard.
Weak end-user consumption and a depressed outlook among buyers continued to plague market activity.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain was €800-850 per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged since October 12.
International scrap prices affect the price of all long steel products. Scrap prices have largely stabilized since mid-October.
Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was €354.41 per tonne on Wednesday, up from €351.83 per tonne a week earlier.
Published by: India-Inés Levy