Small rise in Southern European long steel prices mostly accepted by the market

Activity remained largely unchanged in the Italian and Spanish rebar markets in the week to Wednesday November 1, amid ongoing weak demand, sources told Fastmarkets.

Mills were reported to be targeting price rises of €15-20 per tonne in the coming week, they added, but whether the market will accept any increases remains uncertain.

Wire rod prices rose in Southern Europe amid a small uptick in demand and high input costs, sources said.

Fastmarkets price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, exw Italy was €590-615 ($623-649) per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing up by €10 per tonne from €580-615 per tonne last week.

Low demand and high feedstock costs resulted in the broadly unchanged prices in the Italian rebar market, sources said, but mills were not accepting bids below €590-600 per tonne exw, sources said.

“Producers have set the price at €600 per tonne and, since last week, have refused to accept any prices lower than this,” a buyer source said.

A second buyer source said the buying price had been edging up since the start of month.

“The selling price is edging upwards and, as of November 1, mills are placing orders at €590-600 per tonne exw as a minimum,” the source told Fastmarkets.

But a third buyer source was less convinced,

“Rebar prices are increasing, but we will see over the next few days if they will be able to sustain this [or if there are] slightly lower prices” a third source said.

“There was a small uptick in demand during the last week of October,” the source added.

Offer prices were reported at about €610-630 per tonne exw, while estimates of the workable price were closer to €590-600 per tonne, sources told Fastmarkets.

The market largely remains in a wait-and-see mode, however, holding out to see whether the prices rises will be accepted.

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’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh quality), domestic, delivered Southern Europe, was €590-600 per tonne on Wednesday up by €10-20 per tonne from €570-590 per tonne.

Mills have pushed for higher prices in the wire rod market amid increasing feedstock costs and production cuts and the hikes have largely been accepted, Fastmarkets understands.

“Mills remain firm in their offer prices, understanding that dropping prices will not stimulate consumption.But with production cuts, the market dynamics could help to support the acceptance of the price rises,” a wire rod trader source said.

Published by: India-Inés Levy