Assofermet on Italian pig iron market: Calm in April amid holidays and maintenance

Tuesday, 09 May 2023 16:07:30 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The Italian pig iron market was mostly quiet in April. “The holidays and maintenance shutdowns contributed to this situation,” said Assofermet, the association representing Italian distributors of scrap, raw materials, and steel products, in a press release. “Most steel mills expect a reduction in quotations, while at the moment producers do not seem to be inclined to grant adjustments. The €/$ exchange rate continues to play an important role,” the association noted.

The price gap in the international markets is wider, with Europe and Turkey recording the lowest quotations, while the US market, which mainly absorbs Brazilian pig iron, though slightly down, has recorded quotations at least $100/mt higher. According to Assofermet, material availability remains good as demand from steel mills continues to decline.

In the hematite pig iron segment, April was a short month from a production standpoint, as due to the various holidays in Italy some companies took advantage to do maintenance works on plants. There is evidence, according to Assofermet’s analysis, of some signs of a backlog in production due to a slight drop in orders. “The availability of material from different origins, such as Brazil and Russia, remains very large,” writes Assofermet. “On the price front, there has been a slight reduction, both as a result of the market slowdown and because companies are showing expectations of further price declines, limiting purchases to what is strictly necessary,” the association stated.

Energy costs are still an important factor in the budget, albeit reabsorbed and no longer the subject of emergencies. “In general, the foundry sector, although with some decreases, has still shown some stability and has maintained active production even if there is caution about order intake for the coming weeks,” Assofermet concluded.

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