EUROPE WIRE ROD: Market activity remains low amid regional holidays

Domestic prices for mesh-quality wire rod produced and delivered in Europe remained unchanged over the week, with religious holidays in several countries limiting market activity, sources told Metal Bulletin on Wednesday August 15.

France, Belgium and some states in Germany, as well as Spain, Italy and Portugal, were all quiet during the Catholic religious holiday of Assumption Day on Wednesday August 15.

Metal Bulletin’s weekly domestic price assessment for mesh-quality wire rod in Northern Europe was stable over the week at €550-560 ($626-637) per tonne delivered on August 15.

Domestic supplies in the region remained tight this week because of maintenance work at steel mills, market participants said.

“We could see wire rod offers rise by €5 [per tonne] next week,” one European producer source said.

Metal Bulletin’s weekly domestic price assessment for mesh-quality wire rod in Southern Europe was also stable at €550-560 per tonne delivered on Wednesday.

“The domestic price for mesh-quality wire rod could rise sharply in the final months of the year as the EU safeguard quota for wire rod imports is very unfair,” one trader told Metal Bulletin.

The European Commission's preliminary measures in its recent safeguard case came into effect on July 19, in the form of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on 23 product categories, based on average import volumes over the past three years. Imports will face a 25% tariff if the specific product quota is exceeded.

The total quota for non-alloy and other alloy wire rod is 1,058,110 tonnes.

“The domestic EU market for the open sale of mesh-quality wire rod is tiny,” the trader said, “so once the import quota is filled, the independent buyers will be even more dependent on domestic mills.”

Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for mesh-quality wire rod imported into Northern Europe was stable over the week at €520-540 per tonne cfr main port on August 15.

Viral Shah

viral.shah@fastmarkets.com

Published

Viral Shah

August 15, 2018

13:59 GMT

London