LONDON (Scrap Register): A degree of restocking is taking place, in the German market, as service centres sell off their excess inventories, accumulated earlier in the year. Availability, from domestic sources, is good. Underlying steel consumption is robust, according to the MEPS.
New offers from third country suppliers are less competitive than in June. However, plenty of attractively priced material is still available, in standard grades/sizes, at the docks. The domestic price trend continued to be negative, this month, but buyers feel that the bottom of the cycle has been reached.
Activity, in France, picked up, in June. Market participants expect a boost in steel orders, in the second half of the year, from a planned large infrastructure project around Paris. Nonetheless, prices continued to go down, in late June, but appeared to be stabilising at the beginning of July. In the distribution sector, competition is still rife, with low resale prices. Third country imports are less competitive than they were a couple of weeks ago.
In Italy, stocks at the end-users and distributors are plentiful but significantly lower than in recent months. Import pressure remained strong in late June, although overseas price offers have started to rise. Domestic values continued to contract until early July, when the negative movement stalled. Buyers are now considering purchases for deliveries in the autumn.
The Spanish manufacturing sector completed a strong second quarter of the year and steel consumption is good. Even so, overstocking and the availability of cheap imports led to a reduction in domestic values, in late June. Since then, positive price pressure has been detected in the market.
Import quotations moved up and are expected to rise further when new offers resume. Moreover, domestic steelmakers are refusing to accept further orders at today’s level. Mill delivery lead times are now shorter than those from overseas sources. Stocks at service centres remain high but destocking is underway.