EU heavy plate prices soften on weak demand

EU heavy plate prices soften on weak demand Domestic prices for heavy plate in Europe decline in the week to Nov. 18 as demand remained reduced.

Platts assessed Italian heavy plate down Eur30/mt week on week at Eur820/mt ex-works Italy.

Deals with stockholders have been reported at Eur800-820/mt ex-works Italy. Both buyers and distributors estimated tradable value at Eur800-850/mt ex-works Italy.

Demand for heavy plate has been reduced due to seasonal slowdown as buyers have been more focused on restocking by the year end and they have only just started to plan bookings for the first quarter of 2023.

“Demand still pretty weak, this year can be considered closed in terms of required timing delivery,” an Italian re-roller said. “January is open and is very slowly increasing but all in all we cannot say that demand picked up. I think we should wait a couple more weeks.”

Domestic heavy plate price are unlikely to decline further, some sources believe, taking into the account current slab and production costs.

“The lowest import slab prices we hear are $550/mt CIF, but majority are still at $600/mt CIF and higher,” a Southern European source said. “Given the slabs price offered into EU and the current cost of production there is almost no space at all to lower plates price more.”

Platts assessed import slab into the benchmark Italian market at $575/mt CIF Nov. 18, unchanged week on week.

Offers of the semi-finished products from Asia have been reported at $580-$600/mt CIF Italy. But bids and tradable values have been heard at $540-$550/mt CIF Italy.

Slabs from European integrated mills have been available in Italy at Eur600-610/mt delivered.

Platts assessed heavy plate in Northern Europe down Eur70/mt week on week at Eur930/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Offers from a German mill have been heard at Eur900-930/mt ex-works Ruhr. And tradable values have been reported at Eur920-950/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven