Northwest European rebar buyers go for imports

Import offers for rebar have gained attraction among northwest European buyers, with increasing transactions being reported.

“From Algeria, you will get a decent range of bar material of various sizes delivered to your doorstep for €800/tonne [$816], I was told,” a manager of a big German distributor relates. His company also has connections with Algeria and is contemplating an import deal, he tells Kallanish. Orders placed now are expected to be delivered in October/November, he adds.

While this demands more patience than the 2-3 weeks of lead time for straight bar from domestic mills, some buyers feel more at ease with the assumed modest margin of €10-20/t offered by Algerian mills. Against that, they believe German mills are still trying to maintain unsustainable profit levels. One other buyer says his company decided to boycott German mills in June for their price levels that were still at €1,150/t delivered – on base prices of around €900.

German mills have since conceded another €100-150, but Turkish material can still be obtained for €100 less, according to the buyer. “Some [Turkish] offers are easily under €800 cif Rotterdam,” he states.

According to the first manager, not many German benders are prone to buying from imports. Lately, Oman has become another source option in the Middle East. Oman’s products are licensed for Germany, and at least one big bender group recently ordered from there. The manager also tested the water recently “but we could not yet find an accord on the price”, he observes.

Buyers also point at EU origins like Poland and Italy as alternatives. According to an Austrian source, offers from Italian mills recently stood at €825/t delivered Austria, when the Italian domestic ex-works price, including size extras, was still below €800. An attempt by mills to lift to €850 “did not succeed for lack of demand”, he says, but this may have changed with the latest defiant hike attempts in Italy.

Christian Koehl Germany