Spanish scrap market rebounds, rebar suffers weak demand

Scrap prices in Spain remained stable last week. Only new arisings grade E8 material moved up, but just slightly. Sources suggest the upward E8 trend should continue towards the end of July, without being clear about the extent of the growth. Meanwhile, rebar prices remain unchanged ahead of the summer construction sector break.

E8 scrap prices in Spain started rising last Monday, although a correction in the international market has pushed European levels down, a source notes. “This could be explained mainly by a slower acceptance of the global price in the domestic market, which may not have much influence on short-term contracts due to seasonality in Spain,” a market participant tells Kallanish. Lower scrap grades, meanwhile, remain stable, although an insignificant rise is anticipated in the next few days, he adds.

Another source forecasts for August: “Although there will be small ups and downs, prices should continue to be relatively stable, reflecting the summer period of lower steelmaking activity. Demand for rebar will simultaneously remain weak.”

“Stockists’ rebar inventory levels are back to normal, although the resumption of construction activity has not happened as was expected in July,” a Spanish warehouse owner comments. “The situation is becoming worrying and September should be a turning point for the industry. The steel sector will be pushed to adjust its production levels after returning from maintenance shutdowns due to higher electricity costs amid an inflationary environment resulting from the war in Ukraine.”

According to sources, new arisings grade E8 scrap is now offered in Spain at €390-400/tonne ($396.21-406.48/t) delivered, €30/t more on-week. Demolition quality grade E3 stands at €330/t, while E40 is priced at €340/t, both delivered. E1 quality is at €300-305/t on the same basis.

On the other hand, Spanish buyers are purchasing rebar at €520-525/t base ex-works. Including €262/t size extras, transaction values are at €782-787/t ex-works. Some offers have also been heard at €792/t delivered for 16mm rebar.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria