Sources, however, held mixed views regarding price expectations for the remainder of the quarter.
Fastmarkets price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €600-620 ($641-663) per tonne on Wednesday, increasing by €5-10 per tonne from €590-615 per tonne on November 1.
Producers attempted to increase offer prices by around €20 per tonne, but weak demand made the new level unacceptable to buyers and prices remained stable as a result, Fastmarkets heard.
“Producers are trying to increase the price because over the last month they said that they have lost money,” a buyer source said.
“The still mills are offering higher prices this week compared to last week, at around €610-620 per tonne EXW, but I don’t think they are selling much quantity and so the price seems to be stable from last week’s levels,” a second buyer source said.
“Rebar is now at €600-610 per tonne EXW for new offers in the market and it is the intention of mills to raise offer prices to €620-630 per tonne EXW before Christmas holiday closures. However, demand is weaker this week than last week” a third buyer source said.
Some sources held more optimistic outlooks.
“Prices are rising steadily, and clients are buying at new conditions,” a producer source said.
Meanwhile, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered Spain was €590-615 per tonne, stable week on week.
Southern European wire rod
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh quality) domestic, delivered Southern Europe was €585-600 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €5 per tonne from €590-600 per tonne the week prior.
Prices remained stable in the wire rod market.
Production cuts across European steel mills have altered supply-demand dynamics, sources said.
“While there has been no market recovery or improvement in the economy, there is simply a lack of steel in Europe due to the various production stops at European steel mills. This has increased demand and pushed up prices,” a wire rod producer said.
As a result of import quotas from most countries having been filled, wire rod buyers are more reliant on domestic mills, sources said.
“The most significant import offer came from Turkey, as Turkey still has available quotas to export to Europe. Today it is essentially the only alternative to the European market for Italians. The quotas have blocked further imports from the Far East, Egypt and Algeria. Balkan steel mills today do not have material available for export to Italy due to technical and financial problems,” a wire rod producer source said.
“Many Italian customers, who usually buy most of their material from abroad, in the month of October, and partially also for November, [have] purchased from Italy,” the producer added.
Published by: India-Inés Levy