Fears of a second lockdown amid a growing number of Covid-19 cases constrained rebar buying activity in the south of Europe, which dragged prices down further, while in the north of the region prices of Europe rebar were largely unchanged, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday November 4.
*** EUROPE REBAR , South
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered southern Europe was €۴۳۵-۴۵۰ ($۵۱۶-۵۳۳) per tonne on Wednesday, widening down by €۱۰ per tonne from €۴۴۵-۴۵۰ per tonne delivered seven days before.
*** EUROPE REBAR , Italy
Rebar demand remained slow in Italy this week due to new lockdown fears constraining buying appetites, sources said.
“Demand [for rebar] is very low these days. Construction activity is ongoing but customers are waiting for the government’s decision [on a lockdown] before new purchases,” one trader said.
“Here in Italy the market is in ‘wait-and-see’ mode because of Covid-19 and the possibility of a new lockdown,” the second trader said.
Consequently, rebar in Italy has been trading at €۴۰۰-۴۱۰ per tonne ex-works, widening down by €۵ week on week – equivalent to about €۴۳۵-۴۴۰ per tonne delivered.
The possible decline in the scrap price in November might put additional pressure on rebar prices in Italy, sources said.
“We think that over the next few weeks steel rebar will become cheaper than it is today,” a third trader said.
*** EUROPE REBAR , Spain
In the Spanish rebar market, buying activity has also been reported to be “stable” during the assessment week.
“Demand is stable, it’s not fantastic but still at a normal level,” one mill source said.
Rebar in the country was heard to be trading at €۴۳۵-۴۵۰ per tonne delivered, widening from €۴۵۰ per tonne the week before, sources said.
Furthermore, market sources expect no significant changes in terms of demand or prices until the end of November, Fastmarkets heard.
Market participants reported good demand for European rebar in its traditional export outlets over the assessment week.
“We’ve received a lot of inquiries from the Nordic countries [such as Sweden, Finland and Norway], the UK and Germany,” one mill source in south Europe said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), export, fob main port Southern Europe was €۴۲۰-۴۴۰ per tonne on Wednesday, widening down by €۱۰ per tonne week on week.
Sales to Nordic countries ex-Spain were reported at the lower end of the price range in the previous week, sources said.
*** Northern Europe
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, delivered Northern Europe was €۴۷۰-۴۹۰ per tonne on Wednesday, same as the week prior.
Rebar demand was generally stable week on week in most northern European countries on a well-performing construction sector, sources said.
The public sector was mainly driving the construction activity in the region while the private sub-sector, especially housing, was still lagging behind.
Concurrently, some sources said buying activity was a little slower this week due to uncertainty arising from the second wave of Covid-19 cases, while prospective new lockdowns made buyers delay their purchases.
“The second wave is adding another factor of uncertainty,” one trader said.
“Buying has slowed down a bit so there are no big price movements,” one mill said.
Market sources were still largely optimistic about further prospects for the steel rebar market in the region, however.
“Even if there is a second lockdown the industry won’t stall like it did in March [because a] strict lockdown has been proven to do more harm than the pandemic itself,” a second trader said.
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