Northern European wire rod eyes €900

Northern European wire rod prices have continued to increase this week, by €20-30/tonne ($24-36/t). The expectation is still for further hikes due to higher demand, limited supply and increased scrap prices, market participants observe.

“Wire rod prices continue to go up and will probably reach new highs this month,” a buyer in the Netherlands confirms to Kallanish. “We bought last month a significant amount of wire rod from Turkey in the amount of 60,000 tonnes for €830/t ex-works and some 40,000t from Russia for our customers for July.”

Domestic transaction prices for drawing-quality wire rod are currently at €830-870/t ($1,009-1,060/t) ex-works and at €820-830/t ex-works for mesh quality, sources say. Most buyers are participating in the market because prices continue to climb.

Producers are now asking for €850-870/t ex-works, on average, for drawing-quality rod.

“Our company is cautious and we are still waiting for the safeguard proposal of the EU,” says another participant.

“The new high increase this week was again expected due to higher demand in Europe and lower stocks,” a German merchant observes. “If things continue this way, we can soon reach new highs of up to €900/t and above. Most producers are now selling for end-July, due to the traditional summer construction season.”

Wire rod quotes are being supported by scrap prices in Germany, which have also continued to increase, another market participant notes.

Old thick scrap sort 3, for example, rose to €390-400/t in June’s negotiations. In Austria, prices also increased €30/t. The price for new scrap sort 2/8 also increased to €420-430/t in southern Germany.

In Italy, some rod producers are already beginning to talk about pushing up their prices to €850/t ex-works due to strong demand and new arisings scrap grade E8 hiking to €500-515/t delivered in Italy (see separate story).

Most northern European rod market sources expect prices will continue to go up and, for now, do not see the market stabilising due to higher consumption by mills and low stocks.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria