Demand increases slightly in Europe’s steel beams market; prices narrow downward

Steel beams prices in Europe narrowed downward in the week to Wednesday January 24, with demand weak but heard to have improved slightly during the assessment period.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessments for steel beams, domestic, delivered Northern Europe and for steel beams, domestic, delivered Southern Europe were €770-790 ($838-860) per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing downward by €10 per tonne from €770-800 per tonne a week earlier.

A “small buy” was heard at €790 per tonne, and traders said there was a slight uptick in trading. However, end-user consumption remained lower than normal for the time of year, sources said.

“[Construction] consumption is not at a normal level, but it’s better than in December,” one market participant in Northern Europe said.

A second source said European mills are facing little competition from imports, but demand remains low.

“Orders are made here and there, but only for [restocking needs] — there are no greater projects in sight,” the second source said.

Meanwhile, scrap feedstock prices in the bellwether Turkish market fell during the week after rising for much of January.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily index for steel scrap HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix) North Europe origin, cfr Turkey at $407.62 per tonne on Wednesday, down by $7.48 per tonne week on week from $415.10 per tonne.

Turkish steelmakers have struggled with weak demand for finished long steel products and a large increase in mill workers’ wages that has pushed up production costs.

As a consequence, Turkish mills have limited deep-sea scrap purchases, putting downward pressure on that market.

Published by: Holly Chant