The European wire rod markets for steel mesh-quality wire rod were silent in the week to Wednesday January 6 while holidays continued, but with sentiment increasingly bullish amid tight supply and expected price rises for scrap feedstock, sources have told Fastmarkets.
*** Northern Europe
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh-quality), domestic, delivered Northern Europe, was €۶۳۰ ($۷۷۳) per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing upward from €۶۰۰-۶۳۰ per tonne a week earlier.
Basically, most producers in the region had not fully come back to the market, although some of them indicated their price ideas at €۶۵۰-۶۶۰ per tonne delivered for mesh-quality wire rod.
This was not included in the assessment, however, because no trading has been done at those levels yet.
Sources believed that buyers would have to accept higher prices when market activity resumed, because of the limited availability of wire rod.
“There is not enough material in the market, [so] the upward momentum [in prices] will continue,” one trader in the Benelux area said.
*** Southern Europe
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (mesh-quality), domestic, delivered Southern Europe, was €۶۱۰ per tonne on January 6, narrowing upward by €۱۰ per tonne from €۶۰۰-۶۱۰ per tonne a week earlier.
The assessment was based on offers, deals and achievable prices heard in the market during the assessment week.
Trading activity was close to zero in Italy during the review period because festive-season holidays were running on. Most mills were expected to come back to the market with new offers next week.
“The wire rod price should be at a minimum of €۶۳۵ per tonne delivered, considering the scrap prices and the tightness of supply,” a mill source in Italy said.
Most Italian mills closed for the Christmas holidays on December 24 and were expected to return after January 10, sources told Fastmarkets.
*** Spanish market
The Spanish market was also flat in the week to January 6 due to holidays.
Sentiment in the local wire rod market was also upbeat, due to both limited supply and the expected rise in scrap costs.
Planned maintenance at Megasa’s wire rod mill from January 5 to February 25 could exacerbate the problem of already-short supply in the Spanish wire rod market.
Consequently, wire rod prices in Spain were set to rise further after the holidays, driven by the shortage and by high scrap prices.
Reference: metal bulletin
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