Long steel prices firm in Italy despite slack demand

Thursday, 18 November 2021 16:12:23 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The situation has not changed much in the Italian domestic rebar market in the past ten days, especially in terms of prices. Local producers are still offering material at base prices of €490-500/mt i.e., at €750-760/mt for 12-26 mm diameter, all ex-works. Meanwhile, demand has remained slack, "also due to bad weather, which is not helping activities at existing construction sites," one source commented. Despite this, rumor has it some producers are aiming at increasing their offers before the year ends, citing higher production costs due to the surge of energy prices and domestic scrap prices. For now, transaction prices are generally lower than €760/mt ex-works, ranging from around €730/mt to €750/mt in most cases. Mills are also hoping to benefit from the effects of the recent agreement between the US and the UE on Section 232 duties. Although the US quota assigned to imports from Italian producers is expected to be small, the same producers expect to take advantage of the room left by their competitors in other markets. According to sources, Italian producers' export offers have not changed compared to last week's levels of €680-690/mt FOB.

As for wire rod, demand weakness has not allowed Italian producers to achieve their €800/mt target for drawing quality material, keeping transaction prices at €770-790/mt, delivered. In the case of wire rod, the decreased demand is largely due to the slowdown in the automotive sector, some sources underlined.

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