Scrap prices have continued rising in Spain since the beginning of March. The rebound seen in the international market has pushed domestic levels up and the increase is set to continue, sources tell Kallanish. Meanwhile, rebar prices also went up amid uncertainty in the domestic construction sector.

“Most of the large mills increased their purchase prices by almost €15/tonne [$16.01] for all categories in the last days of February,” a local source explains. "This week, only offers for E1 grade moved up, by €25/t. The other qualities are expected to follow this increase in the coming days, by €15/t on average." According to another market participant, demand for new E8 quality continues to rise amid manufacturers’ lower production and the slowdown in activity in the automotive sector.

New arisings grade E8 scrap is now offered in Spain at €440/t, while both demolition-quality grade E3 and E40 stand at €405/t, all delivered. E1 quality is at €390/t on the same basis.

On the other hand, the Spanish rebar market has also seen a substantial price recovery. However, local buyers are not yet accepting new prices, while mills are evaluating whether to raise selling values to over €800/t ex-works in the next few days.

"Last week, Celsa offered material at higher prices than the rest of the market players, but since Monday, Megasa and Siderúrgica Sevillana also began to sell rebar at a higher level, backed by the new market situation and better demand from abroad,” a stockist comments.

The market has so far been unable to digest the scale of the increase. “We are not buying, nor selling rebar at the current price. The steel companies are maintaining their position due to the sharp growth of scrap offer prices, while demand from abroad has increased due to the shortage of material spurred by Turkey's earthquake,” another seller observes.

Most suppliers and distribution centres confirm the situation is again impacting construction activity in the country.

“The sector remains weaker in this first quarter compared to the good start we had in 2022, but we are confident that there will be a slight recovery throughout the year, driven by EU funding under its Resilience Facility, an impact that is yet to come,” a representative of the construction sector comments. "The improvement will depend on macroeconomic developments, interest rates, inflation, energy costs and, above all, on the recovery of investments and the execution of public works," he adds.

Rebar is currently sold domestically in Spain at €475-495/t ($506.91-528.25) base. Including €262/t size extras and €23/t loading expenses, transaction values are at €760-780/t ex-works.