Fundamentals remained stable in the Southern European rebar market in the week to Wednesday February 22, but producers told Fastmarkets that an anticipated increase in scrap costs in March meant they would be targeting higher prices in the coming week.
Scrap prices in Turkey have risen because of the recent devastating earthquake, sources said.
But trading activity in the rebar market remained slow because most buyers completed restocking in the first 10 days of the month, Fastmarkets understands.
Fastmarkets price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €740-780 ($789-832) per tonne on Wednesday, down by €25 per tonne per tonne at the high end from €740-805 per tonne last week.
Sources did report a pick-up in demand for rebar exports, however.
“The price is quite stable, [but] producers have seen increasing appetite in the international market for rebar exports, so they are now trying to ask for higher prices in the Italian market,” a producer source said.
“The earthquake in Turkey has shaken the European market. I think that before the end of the week the producers will try to announce a new price of around €800 per tonne EXW,” the source added.
But other sources said that demand had been relatively weak.
“There has been no significant new business or fresh orders. The Italian mills are busy delivering old orders,” another producer source said.
“We expect scrap prices to rise, however, given the fact Turkish mills are already paying a premium for scrap. We expect the scrap price rises to rise again in March. And with scrap prices increasing, it will not be possible for mills to offer a reduction,” the source added.
International scrap prices, which have been rising since December 2022, affect the price of all long steel products.
Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of the index for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), North Europe origin, cfr Turkey was $436.12 per tonne on February 22, up from $410.79 per tonne last week.
Prices remained stable in the Spanish rebar market, with little activity reported in the week to Wednesday.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered, Spain was €740-770 per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged week on week.
“Today, the steel mills are squeezed between stable or rising raw materials costs and a very weak finished product market, which leads customers to ask for reductions,” a buyer source said.
Published by: India-Inés Levy