Polish steel rebar prices dip further, mills reduce output, sources say

Domestic prices for steel rebar in Poland have continued to decrease in the week ending Friday March 22, with comparatively good demand from cut-and-bend operators that provide prefabricated solutions for the construction sector, industry sources have told Fastmarkets.

Demand for rebar from other sectors remained low, however.

Polish mills were heard offering rebar in the range of 2,700-2,740 zloty ($683-693) per tonne CPT this week, which would net back to about 2,680-2,710 zloty per tonne ex-works.

Offer prices in the previous assessment period were similar, varying between 2,700 zloty per tonne and 2,750 zloty per tonne CPT, equivalent to 2,680-2,730 zloty per tonne ex-works.

Fastmarkets’ sources estimated the tradable market price for rebar at 2,700-2,740 Polish zloty per tonne CPT, which would net back to 2,680-2,710 zloty per tonne ex-works.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Poland, was 2,680-2,710 zloty per tonne on Friday, down by 20 zloty per tonne from 2,700-2,730 zloty per tonne on March 15.

Rebar prices in the secondary market varied between 2,730 zloty per tonne and 2,750 zloty per tonne CPT.

A distributor source told Fastmarkets that, in the previous assessment period to March 15, Polish mills had almost sold-out their volumes for March, with the major buyers being cut-and-bend companies.

“The construction sector will start to work more actively in May,” the same source added. “Consequently, many construction firms decided to finalize their contracts with the cut-and-bend companies last week at those prices. But right now, there are no significant quantities available in the market.”

According to the distributor source, except for the cut-and-bend business, trading remained poor.

“Now, Polish mills are only delivering [material on orders they received in previous weeks], and the market is a bit frozen,” a producer source told Fastmarkets.

“[Most market participants] are waiting for the new prices [expected] after Easter,” a seller source told Fastmarkets.

According to the distributor source, one of the Polish mills was expected to announce its prices for April-production rebar at the end of March.

A second distributor source said that the downtrend in Polish rebar prices would not continue for long.

“Demand is not bad, and I do not think that prices will decline significantly in the future,” this second distributor source said. “Maybe in April, the minimum prices from Polish mills will be a bit below 2,700 zloty per tonne CPT.” He believed that prices would then stabilize.

Production cuts were also expected to affect the market. Last week, a mill was heard to adjust output by bringing-in flexible working when energy prices are lower, to decrease production costs.

Market sources have now told Fastmarkets that a second mill would be working only over the weekends in April, to cut production.

“With the higher foreign-exchange rate [between the euro and the zloty], imports can become less attractive,” the second distributor source said.

This week, import offers of rebar from Germany to Poland were heard at €620-625 ($676-681) per tonne CPT, while Italian material was offered to Poland at €640 per tonne CPT.

Published by: Darina Kahramanova