Polish rebar producers seek higher prices

Domestic prices for steel rebar in Poland widened upward on higher offers in the week to Friday September 1, but the market was still lacking clear direction, industry sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Poland, was 2,630-2,680 zloty ($640-652) per tonne on Friday, widening upward by 30 zloty per tonne from 2,630-2,650 per tonne on September 25.

A trading source told Fastmarkets that an integrated mill in Poland was selling rebar in the domestic market at 2,650 zloty per tonne CPT, during the assessment week, which would be equivalent to about 2,630 zloty per tonne ex-works.

A second trading source said that local producers were trading rebar at 2,650-2,680 zloty per tonne CPT, which would net back to about 2,630-2,650 zloty per tonne ex-works.

A third market source confirmed the same domestic price levels in Poland.

Sources reported that mills in Poland were trying to push offers to 2,680-2700 zloty per tonne ex-works, but buyers were largely holding back, still assessing the market situation.

In general, the local rebar market in Poland was still quiet and lacking clear direction after the summer lull, sources told Fastmarkets.

Market sources expected to see more clarity on price direction during the week starting September 4. Notably, sources told Fastmarkets that scrap contracts would be settled next week, which will be decisive for finished steel prices, since scrap is a key raw material used in rebar production.

Market participants shared mixed expectations for the post-summer developments, although they all agreed that mills would continue trying to increase prices to cover costs.

One industry source suggested that the rebar prices would go down to 2,550 zloty per tonne CPT within the next few weeks despite mills’ attempts to cut output, since end-user demand was still on the low side.

Other sources, however, were a bit more optimistic, claiming that end-user demand for rebar was set to improve in September due to an expected recovery in the residential construction sub-sector in Poland.

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

The program, which is available to young people for their first house or apartment purchase, is supposed to stimulate residential construction, according to sources.

Published by: Julia BolotovaDarina Kahramanova