Shortage, high prices continue for Italian longs

Limited quantities of merchant bars are being allocated to customers as demand is currently exceeding supply. Sections and wire rods are also troubled by limited supply and strong domestic and export demand, market participants tell Kallanish.

Apparent steel demand, or buying to fill stocks, returned to the market in March when sales and sales prices were reported to be strong with demand from both distribution and end-users remaining tense. While both merchant bars and sections producers have consolidated the past increases, they are now mulling more price hikes, also in line with forecasts that domestic and imported scrap will increase this month in Italy.

Today, before the new expected increases, the first category of sections is being sold at approximately €1,520-1,530/tonne ($1,680-1,691/t) ex-works including size extras, with material scarcity. Merchant bar is at €820-850/t base ex-works, or €1,240-1,270/t ex-works including size extras. This base price is seen increasing to €900/t in April, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France