After our interview at the beginning of the year, in which we discussed prices, market and prospects from the point of view of a wire drawing company, we met again Pietro Spina, ITA Spa Sales Manager, before the appointment with wire 2018 in Düsseldorf.
Steelgroup, formed by four companies united by steel drawing (FAR Spa, ITA Spa, CB Trafilati Acciai Spa and Metallurgica Alta Brianza Spa), will be present at the leading fair for the wire world, from the 16th to the 20th of April 2018, with a duplicate surface – upwards.
Have you chosen to invest a lot on the fair?
Yes, we doubled our stand in height, adding a second floor for negotiations, which were very interesting two years ago. In addition, this participation is accompanied by a restyling of the graphic representation of the whole group. The investment on wire is to be considered the tip of an iceberg, the explicitation of a particularly positive period, characterized by a breath of fresh air and renewal.
Does this vitality affect you or the whole sector?
Both, I would say. The level of demand is very high, both for us and for our competitors. The automotive and construction sectors, two fundamental outlets for us, have reached extraordinary numbers. On some products we have 14/15 weeks of delivery.
Any indication as far as prices are concerned?
There were further movements between the first and second quarters: between 80 to 90 euro increase per tonne, motivated by the grow in demand, rather than by raw materials, that remained substantially stable.
How about volumes?
In Q1 of 2018 we recorded a +2/3% in terms of quantities produced compared to 2017.
Talking about prices again, what are the forecasts for the rest of the year? Will the US steel and aluminum tariffs related to Section 232 have repercussions on you?
There are several trends in place. The restriction of the markets is certainly not positive, and will cause trade deflections, perhaps even a lack of scrap metal on the market. We all hope for stability, but expectations for prices are upwards.
Going back to you, last time we talked about Steelgroup's new investments in production areas.
And it's not over! In addition to that area purchased at the end of 2017 - a plot adjacent to ours, in Calolziocorte (Lecco) - another lot was added: in total we increased our production area by 22 thousand square meters, increasing by a third our total area. In the next 3 years, we aim to extend our capacity between 20 and 30 thousand tons.
Management is betting on growth...
And on quality. This is the mark that Andrea Beri, leading the group today, is giving, supported by the experience of his father Gianni. If new customers are turning to us, it is because we are raising the bar higher and higher. We believe that only in this way can we survive and grow on the market: selection of raw materials suppliers - the best at European level; a cycle that focuses on repetitiveness of production; numerous internal controls, even with on-line systems; attention to staff training... There are many aspects that contribute to qualify us as a reliable partner for an increasing number of companies.
Appointment in Düsseldorf, then.
You can find us in Hall 11, Stand D58.