Prices edge downward in Southern European rebar market; wire rod price stable

Activity remained subdued in the Italian rebar and wire rod market in the week to Wednesday January 24, Fastmarkets heard.

Market participants reported confusion and mixed signals in the Italian rebar market, with producers attempting to raise prices, but the market unwilling to support any price rises.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (Rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €660-680 ($718-740) per tonne on Wednesday, dropping by €10 per tonne from €670-690 per tonne week on week.

Prices edged downward in the Italian rebar market amid weak demand and a bearish outlook among buyers.

“There is significant instability in prices now. There are few requests for new material and demand is not good, but scrap prices are increasing, so there is pressure on mills to raise prices,” a buyer source said.

“The market is so strange these days. Producers would like to put up the price, due to scrap price increase, but demand is low and consumption from the building sector is weak,” a second buyer source said.

“We hope the last January days will bring us a turn in the trend, but is not so probable,” the second buyer source added.

Turkey’s scrap prices rose significantly at the beginning of January; however they have since edged downward through late January.

Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily index for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix) North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $407.62 per tonne on Wednesday, down by $7.48 per tonne week on week from $415.10 per tonne.

Meanwhile, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain was €655-660 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €10 per tonne from €665-670 per tonne the previous week.

Southern European wire rod
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh quality), domestic, delivered Southern Europe was €640-650 per tonne on Wednesday, stable week on week.

“Little has changed in the wire rod market since last week; however, mills are targeting for February some additional increases. The main driver of the last increases is the trend of scrap, which has really increased in past few weeks,” a wire rod buyer source said.

There is little demand for wire rod imports due to high, uncompetitive offers, sources said.

“Imports are not interesting, with final prices being too close to what local mills are offering,” the wire rod buyer source said.

Published by: India-Inés Levy