Rebar shortage constrains Spanish construction sector

Spanish rebar suppliers tell Kallanish that domestic producers are short of material for some qualities, while lead times are continuously growing.

Meanwhile, Spain’s construction and infrastructure company association, Seopan, affirms that the rise in prices of steel products is seriously affecting all companies in the sector, both in public and civil works. According to Seopan, long steel prices are up 78% since the beginning of 2021.

“As prices rise, there is a shortage of certain rebar qualities, the supply of which is in many cases conditional on the acceptance of offers with weekly price adjustments,” Seopan observes. “The situation puts in danger the economic balance in the sector, as contracting companies have to face price increases of more than 100% and this may jeopardise the fulfilment of construction works,” the association warns.

Meanwhile, Spanish rebar suppliers confirm the situation could even worsen as large mills enter a two-week programmed maintenance period.

“Large mills have no availability of two of the qualities most sold by distributors until end-July,” one trader says. “Steelmakers lead times are reaching almost 20 days and this makes the situation yet more difficult.”

According to another market participant, suppliers are not considering imports as a short-term solution, given there is currently no significant price differential between entries and local rebar levels. “We have very strong demand for rebar,” he comments. “High prices pressure end-users to postpone their purchases instead of importing steel. This situation is set to last and to have repercussions on construction sector activity.”

Rebar is currently sold domestically in Spain at €480/t ($574) base. Including €262/t size extras, latest transaction values are at €742/t (€888) ex-works. Some offers have also been heard at €760/t delivered for 16mm rebar.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria