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Northwest EU rebar prices rise to 18-month high

пятница, 04 декабря 2020

Northwest European domestic rebar prices continued their sharp increase, as end users looked to secure volumes amid sharply rising mill offers, market participants said Dec. 4.

Platts assessed TSI Northwest Europe Rebar at Eur510/mt ex-works Dec. 4, up Eur30/mt on week. This meant the index reached its highest level since June 7, 2019, when the price was Eur513.50/mt ex-works.

“People have no stock and after the US election in November and the positive vaccine news, we’re now hearing that postponed construction and infrastructure projects are back on, so some people are even buying material at losses to guarantee the material,” a Benelux-based distributor said.

A French mill sale for 200 mt was heard at Eur520/mt delivered Benelux, according to a distributor source, while a German mill was heard to sell volumes over 1,000 mt as high as Eur530/mt delivered Benelux.

“The scrap price has increased a lot, and the customers who didn’t buy at Eur220/mt base price two weeks ago have now missed the train,” a seller source said. “Now we are fully booked for Jan and Feb, and we have March availability but don’t want to offer too far ahead.”

Early expectations for EU December scrap settlements were heard as high as Eur30-40/mt up on November levels.

Rising finished steel demand across the global has helped fuel sharp increases in ferrous scrap prices, with the Platts assessment of the benchmark Turkish import premium HMS 1/2 (80:20) index at $365/mt CFR on Dec. 4, having risen from $294/mt CFR one month earlier on Nov. 2.

Platts assessed Steel Rebar FOB southern Europe at Eur460/mt Dec. 4, up Eur10/mt on week.

“Buyers are ready to pay this level but there is no available material to buy yet for Jan or Feb shipment,” an Italian mill source said, adding that mills’ reluctance to offer was based on uncertainty over their raw material costs.

“Italian scrap recyclers aren’t picking up the phone as they want to ensure they can get the best price, including from Turkey,” the mill source said.

Around Eur280/mt delivered to the mill was considered to be workable for shredded scrap in Southern Europe, which would be up sharply from Platts November assessment of Eur247.50/mt delivered to the mill. Black Sea export pig iron, which is also a key input for Italian mills, has also seen a sharp hike in prices, with Platts assessment at $457.50/mt FOB on Dec. 4, up $25/mt on week.

Other European long steel prices have also rallied in line with recent rebar hikes.

Platts European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was assessed at Eur545/mt delivered Dec. 2, up Eur15/mt on week. Market sources are expecting mills to push through further increases of Eur10-15/mt for medium sections by end-December.

-- Viral Shah

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