EU plate prices down as mills chase orders

Domestic prices for heavy plate have declined in the week to Oct. 14 as mills have been cutting offers to secure sales.

Demand has slowed down in October as majority of the buyers have secured required stocks and some mills have reduced prices to secure order books.

Platts assessed plate in Northern Europe down Eur10/mt on week, at Eur1050/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Offers and tradable value for the material from German mills have been heard at Eur1,000-1,100/mt ex-works Ruhr.

In Northern Europe, a Danish producer has been reported to give competitive offers for plate at Eur950/mt ex-works. But the buyers’ interest in the material and impact from competitive prices have been limited as Russian slab have been used as feedstock, market sources said.

“A lot of buyers try to avoid plate produced from Russian slab, mainly due to either self-sanctioning or due to concerns about new sanction the EU might impose,” a Northern European distributor said.

On Oct. 6, the European Commission introduced latest round of sanction against Russia, under which Russia-origin slab and billet import into the EU can continue until 2024 on quota basis.

Italian re-rollers have been trading heavy plate at Eur910-920/mt ex-works with buyers looking for bigger lots and at Eur950-970/mt ex-works with smaller buyers.

As a result, Platts assessed plate in Southern Europe down Eur20/mt on week, at Eur940/mt ex-works Italy.

“There is almost no room for further decrease of plate prices,” an Italian re-roller said. “Although slap prices went down, re-rolling production costs have also jumped this year.”

Platts assessed import slab in Southern Europe at $600/mt CIF Italy Oct. 14, down $20/mt over the week.

A deal for South Korea-origin slab has been reported at $600/mt CIF Italy.

Offers of slab from Russia, Asia and Brazil have been heard at $650/mt CIF Italy, while bids have been reported at $580/mt CIF Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven