Italy is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel even though, since the previous Mirror report, nothing has fundamentally changed. In fact, we are the last wagon of the European locomotive. The ongoing crisis is hurting the country, including the steel industry, and has not allowed our sector to shine from an economic point of view.
Italy was the only country to implement a prolonged lockdown, during which steel mills stopped production for two months. This created two effects: first, to reduce the need for coils among end users; and second, to give free rein to European competitors who have been able to penetrate the Italian market more easily. In light of this, the last quarter has been lived in a perpetual rush. Quantities sold were down by 30-40% and prices remained the lowest in Europe, adding to the fact that August saw the closure of the entire production sector.
The very depressed tone persisted into September but has now been replaced by increasing demand for material - a trend which promises to be even more pronounced in October. The major challenge in the final quarter will be to meet steel mills’ demand given the scarcity of available scrap and, above all, the speculative approach of those operators who prefer not to sell in a bid to boost prices. Furthermore, the simultaneous demand from all European steel mills allows no possibility of importing scrap into Italy.
Nichel Leghe Spa (ITA)