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NW Europe rebar declines on weak demand - 2 April 2012

In northwestern Europe, rebar transaction prices for April delivery have fallen by €10/tonne ($13/t) on weak demand since the middle of last week, market participants said. Deals for April delivery from German mills are being concluded at €550-560/t effective delivered, while Polish mills’ prices are at €540/t delivered to Germany, and Italian and Spanish mills are selling material to southern Germany at around €540-550/t delivered.

“In Germany, the market is just slightly better than the rest of Europe so that a lot of European mills are coming to Germany and this doesn’t help German producers to increase their prices”, a trader told Platts Steel Business Briefing.

“Construction projects are on hold in Germany as well, while the market is getting even quieter as Easter approaches... but I expect a slightly rebound of activities and demand as a consequence after Easter. Stock levels are medium low and a lot of stockholders have to buy materials”, another German trader said.

In Benelux, demand is quiet as well. Prices are still reported to be €5/t cheaper than in Germany, with Spanish material sold there at more competitive prices. In France rebar prices fell to €300/t base DDP, with local stockholders reported to have about 60 days of stocks. “Demand has mainly pushed down the prices with buyers still in waiting mode, and this due to mainly the economic situation rather than the coming elections”, a French distributor explained.

The recent decline in prices follows unsuccessful attempts by producers to pass €20/t increase since the 5 March. “All over northwestern Europe the increase didn’t pass because mills were competing for the few orders available”, a German trader said.


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