Seasonal slowdown keeps Polish rebar prices flat; market hoping for demand rebound in September

Steel rebar prices in Poland were broadly stable in the week to August 4 amid very weak demand, but market participants are hopeful of a boost from a rebound in construction activity from September, sources told Fastmarkets.

Rebar offers from three local producers were broadly stable week on week at 2,660-2,680 zloty ($653-658) per tonne CPT (about 2,630-2,650 zloty per tonne EXW).

Transactions were scarce, however, with tradable values reported at 2,600-2,650 zloty per tonne ex-works, depending on the tonnage. Mills in the region were able to offer rebar from stock with quick shipment, market sources said.

Sources said they expect rebar prices to stabilize in the coming weeks and were cautiously optimistic about a pick-up of construction activity in the residential sub-sector in September.

“Demand is still weak, partially due to the vacation season, but also because construction activity is still very slow. The only hope is that new construction projects will start from September and boost demand for rebar,” a trader in Poland said, with the Polish government launching a support program for the nation’s “first home buyers,” offering housing loans with a fixed 2% interest rate over 10 years, with the difference to the actual interest rate covered by the state.

That program, available for young people only for their first house or apartment purchase, is supposed to stimulate residential construction, sources said.

“Right now there are so many applications… for this kind of mortgage, the banks cannot cope, a second trader source said.

“In the past six months or so, there have been very few residential projects in Poland, so soon there could be a shortage of apartments,” the trader added.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Poland, was 2,600-2,650 zloty per tonne on Friday, stable week on week.

In the secondary market, rebar prices were reported at 2,750 zloty per tonne CPT, also stable week on week.

Imported rebar offers to Poland were scarce due to the seasonal summer slowdown.

A Ukrainian supplier was offering rebar for September delivery, however, at €570 ($623) per tonne DAP border (about €600 per tonne CPT).

And Moldovan rebar was on offer in Poland at €610 per tonne CPT.

Published by: Julia Bolotova


French rebar buyers remain on fence

French rebar activity continues to be sluggish, with no market visibility. Prices are however stable, with sources indicating a slight, €10/tonne ($11) hike compared to mid-July.

The market is now on holiday, and very little is forecast to happen until the end of August. However, stocks at distributors and their clients are low, with distributors reporting empty order books. Sales are taking place from day to day, with no longer-term prospects. Customers and construction companies will adopt a wait-and-see attitude in September and will continue to buy only to cover immediate needs each day.

One seller says he has no orders for September and revenue in July was accumulated from day-to-day sales. Despite the difficulty of working without plans and visibility, and there being limited restocking, the month of July was considered “acceptable”, Kallanish notes.

Some orders for infrastructure projects improved producers’ sales in July but the remaining orders were for small volumes. Domestic rebar prices are hovering at €590-620/t delivered including size extras, depending on tonnage, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France