Wire rod prices to increase in Italy

The Italian wire rod market remains quiet this week with demand subdued and buyers in wait-and-see mode. Buyers who spoke to Kallanish say they will decidedly refuse to buy at increased prices. Their stocks remain medium-high.

After halting sales, some producers are increasing prices by €100/tonne ($99.8) compared to August levels, reaching €1,000/t for drawing-quality material.

Wire rod derivatives should also increase by €100-150/t. There were strong sales of this product in August when some sellers decided to decrease their prices before withdrawing offers. The increases, in line with all other long products, are mostly due to increasing energy prices that are forcing some mills to extend their August maintenance stoppages into September.

Ferriere Nord, a subsidiary of long steel producer Pittini, has requested access to a temporary layoff scheme for over 750 workers at its plant in Osoppo near Udine, northern Italy (see Kallanish 30 August newsletter). The plant is producing at reduced capacity while Pittini’s facilities in Verona and Potenza are said to be idled. This has however not been confirmed by Pittini.

End-user wire rod demand is reported to be extremely subdued this week. Sales activity has not yet resumed after the August break. Clients are not buying domestic material for October. Some say they only have limited orders for September and are refusing to commit for a longer period.

Because energy prices continue to climb in Italy, quoting is becoming a challenge for mills. Current contract prices in Italy are hovering at €920-950/t ex-works for drawing-quality material, with only low-tonnage sales occurring, sources suggest.

Natalia Capra France