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Lower scrap availability to support prices: Assofermet

After a good start to November amid increasing domestic scrap prices and demand, the Italian market is seeing deliveries slowing, with steelmakers thinking about reducing prices for the weeks to come.

Considering that scrap availability is about 50% lower compared to previous years, a significant price reduction is unlikely, even in the case of demand contraction, says Italian steel trade association Assofermet in its market note monitored by Kallanish.

This month, falling gas prices for energy-intensive sectors have enabled steelmakers to resume production. The association, however, emphasises that weakness and uncertainty in the Italian economy is impacting steelmakers’ order books, which remain underperforming for the medium term. Except for rebar makers increasing prices, the downturn in all steel products in Italy continues to deepen.

Steelmakers’ demand for pig iron remains weak, while foundries continue to support sales. Large availability is reported in Italy.

Meanwhile, stainless scrap demand has increased in European countries in November. Assofermet reports lower exports to Asian buyers, particularly India which remains a large consumer of European 304 and 316. In Italy this month, 304 and 316 grade sales have resumed to large buyers at increased values, the association concludes.

Natalia Capra France