‘Toxic’ prices see German rebar distributors offload volumes

Rebar prices in Germany have dropped quickly and heavily after mills had succeeded for weeks in keeping them far above average European levels into June. The sudden fall has triggered some panic selling among German distributors, Kallanish is told by observers.

The drop has brought the local base price to €900/tonne ($943) and less, from nominally €1,100 offered far into May. According to an observer, some distributors are already launching volumes onto the market at loss-making prices, before their inventories “get really toxic” amid falling mill prices, and bring even stronger losses. “We have heard of competitors that are booking orders on the basis of existing contracts with mills, in which they concede losses of between €300 and €400,” he says.

According to a Dutch observer, prices thus far in Germany have still been the most stable, and have dropped more steeply in the Netherlands, and yet more strongly in Belgium

Regarding the view across borders, players have little to say about imports from overseas. Deliveries from Italy could be an option in Austria and southern Germany. An Austrian observer saw prices for straight rebar delivered to Austria a week ago at €950, then only €50 above the domestic Italian value. Given that Italian domestic prices are seen falling further, deliveries to northern customers could increase.

“I think prices will fall by another €50 before the floor is reached,” he says. This has already happened in Italy in the course of one week, and remains to be seen in Germany.

Christian Koehl Germany