Uncertainty looms over French longs market

French long products prices are seen declining slightly in the coming weeks as consumption in the country remains uncertain. Market sources report back-to-back sales and little restocking.

Purchasing groups have bought to replenish stocks but say they are being “prudent”. They are trying to rebuff high sheet and tube prices, in line with coil increases implemented by EU producers, and are not managing to pass increases on downstream. Activity in several end-user sectors continues to stagnate.

Compared to December, French rebar has lost some €20/tonne ($21) on average. EU producers are now more willing to negotiate. With their current high processing costs, some are resorting to production stoppages to balance supply with demand.

Buyers who spoke to Kallanish believe consumption for both long and flat products will be in line with 2023 and see no space for increases. With scrap values flat, construction steel prices are also seen relatively stable this month. Margins for distributors are reported to be under pressure, a source comments.

French rebar values are flat, hovering at €630-635/t delivered on average.

Natalia Capra France