Northern Europe rebar prices stagnate amid low demand and weak trading activity

Rebar prices in the Northern European domestic market remained depressed in the week ending Wednesday July 6, with market activity negligible due to weak demand and customers’ continued wait-and-see approach, market sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered Northern Europe was €950-1,100 ($970-1,124) per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged week on week.

Given the ongoing low demand, customers continued to hold off on significant movements, a variety of sources said. With activity so sluggish and few deals taking place, little had changed during the week, several market sources said.

An abnormally wide €150 range for the second consecutive week is the result of the gap between actual offers and market sources’ estimates of achievable prices, as well as the overall lack of trading activity.

“No one is sure in what direction we are moving. New projects are on hold and delayed, and there is not much demand for existing orders,” one source said. “There is a lot of uncertainty – to buy or not to buy, to wait or not to wait.”

Energy costs also remain a concern for mills, the same source said. This is especially the case in terms of accepting large-volume orders for the fourth quarter, in the event the orders cannot be realized due to energy shortages, the source said.

Decreasing international scrap costs since mid-April have also been a major factor in the falling rebar market. Scrap prices have, however, begun to surge during the week. Rising international scrap prices, alongside other soaring input costs, may be another critical catalyst pushing rebar prices up in the coming months.

Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $403.75 per tonne on Wednesday, up significantly from $325.58 week on week.

Published by: India-Inés Levy