Demand for heavy plate up in Italy, mills aim for higher prices

Domestic prices for heavy plates inched up in South Europe in the week to Jan. 27 due to improved buying activity as steelmakers aim for higher prices.

Platts assessed domestic heavy plate prices in South Europe at Eur865/mt ex-works Italy, up Eur5/mt week on week.

Deals with big stockholders have been settled at Eur850-860/mt ex-works Italy and with smaller buyers at Eur870-880/mt ex-works Italy. Offers, in the meantime, have been reported at Eur900/mt ex-works Italy.

“Big buyers that had been avoiding restoking in December started to return looking for orders,” an Italian re-roller said. “They are not booking big orders, but this is already a good sign.”

Anticipated rise of import slab prices from Asia after the Lunar New Year holidays in China and good order books of European plate producers have also contributed to bullishness in the market.

Platts assessed prices for imported slab in South Europe up $10/mt week on week at $700/mt CIF Italy Jan. 27.

Market sources estimated that lowest prices for import slab from Asia would be $700/mt CIF Italy.

Platts assessed domestic prices for heavy plate in Northwest Europe Eur990/mt ex-works Ruhr on Jan. 27, unchanged week on week.

Deals have been reported at Eur960-1,000/mt ex-works Ruhr.

“Plate market in north of Europe is really strong right now,” a Northern European source said.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar