Mixed price trend for Nordic long products in October
In Sweden, wire producers report a modest reduction in demand, this year. Activity in the automotive sector is now showing signs of recovery but price increases for wire rod, in October, were tempered by competition between suppliers. Selling values rose modestly in Denmark, and, in Norway, a more sizeable increase in NOK values was, in part, due to the substantial weakening of the local currency, relative to the euro. Sales tonnages in Finland were boosted by restocking by wire drawers. Import volumes – especially, those from Russia – are being restricted by the EC safeguarding quotas.
Demand for reinforcing bars is currently healthy, in Denmark, but EU producers’ hopes of lifting selling values, in October, were thwarted, as Russian suppliers attempted to gain market share. Buyers accepted a small price increase, in Sweden, but concern persists in the country that a second Covid-19 peak in major cities may restrict future business. A number of projects are ongoing, in Finland, but the volume of new enquiries for rebar is very low. The seasonal downturn in construction and infrastructure work is expected to be minimal.
Structural sections and bars slow to move upwards
Domestic demand for medium sections and beams is muted, in Denmark. Regional mills, which have spare rolling capacity, were unable to secure price increases in October. Building activity is quite strong, in Norway, as it is in Sweden, although the medium-term outlook there is uncertain. In Finland, beam consumption is satisfactory, at present, but the number of planned building projects for 2021 is reported to be down by between 30 and 40 percent, year-on-year.
A small price increment was agreed by merchant bar producers with Danish buyers, after increases in the mills’ raw material costs. Consumption by the manufacturing sector is returning to normal, in Sweden. Nevertheless, producers accepted transaction values at the same level as those tabled in the previous month. Demand for merchant bar from OEMs is satisfactory, in Norway. Meanwhile, the increasing number of coronavirus cases is creating uncertainty in the Finnish market.