Polish rebar prices recover on restocking

Prices for steel rebar in Poland increased slightly in the week to Friday September 22, largely due to improved apparent demand, sources told Fastmarkets.

Domestic producers in Poland raised rebar offers 2,800-2,850 zloty ($646-657) per tonne CPT, which equals to 2,780-2,820 zloty per tonne ex-works.

Earlier this week, however, a deal for a sizeable tonnage was concluded at lower level — 2,730 zloty per tonne CPT, which nets back to about 2,710 zloty per tonne ex-works.

Buying continued improving in the assessment week, however, it has been driven mainly by a restocking, rather than real demand from the construction sector, according to market sources. Only the residential sub-sector was showing some signs of improvement.

“Everyone is afraid that surge in demand was caused by empty stock, not by a real demand from the construction industry,” a trading source said. “It seems that a pick-up in demand from residential construction companies might not be enough to fully compensate for missing big infrastructure projects.”

As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Poland was 2,710-2,820 zloty per tonne on Friday, up by 10-50 zloty per tonne from 2,700-2,770 zloty per tonne the week before.

Market sources expect that rebar prices in Poland could continue to rise in the coming weeks, supported by a pick-up in the residential sub-sector and continued restocking

In July, the Polish government launched a support program for the nation’s first-time homebuyers, offering home loans with a fixed 2% interest rate over 10 years, with the difference to the actual interest rate covered by the state.

In addition, one major local producer was expected to halt production for maintenance until early November, so sources expect limited availability to support the uptrend.

Currency fluctuations, particularly the Polish zloty weakening against the euro during September, made imports from the EU less attractive and supported a domestic price increase. The Polish currency was trading at 4.62 zloty to €1 on September 22 compared with 4.48 zloty to €1 on September 1, according to the exchange rate website Oanda.com.

Import offers for rebar from two Italian mills were reported at €590 per tonne CPT and €610 per tonne CPT to Poland during the assessment week.

Published by: Julia BolotovaDarina Kahramanova