Uncertainty hits Italian merchant bar prices

The Italian merchant bar market remains in a lull after the latest increases implemented in January of €30/tonne ($34) did not stick, market participants tell Kallanish.

General demand remains weak, with large distributors sometimes transacting at lower prices than producers. Today’s contracts remain at the equivalent of €500-520/t ex-works, stable on the beginning of January. Including size extras, domestic values are at €920-940/t ex-works. Purchases are still occurring back-to-back and apparent demand is practically absent at the current high prices.

Some merchant bar producers are asking for €580/t base ex-works. However, considering the uncertain market, keeping prices elevated next month may become too challenging. Sources forecast a price decrease in February, particularly if scrap values continue to fall in Italy.

Natalia Capra France