EU plate prices fall on strong supply, imports near domestic prices

European plate prices corrected lower the week ended Sept. 17 as ample supply in the Italian region, cheap imports and lower slab costs continued to pressure domestic prices, sources said.

Italian prices were heard as low as Eur870-890/mt in deals to large stockholders, with German prices also significantly lower at Eur950-1,000/mt ex-works Ruhr. Imports were heard at Eur840-850/mt CIF Italy Ports ex-Far East.

“The gap between import and domestic is not sweet enough anymore,” an Italy-based mill source said.

A second mill cited a tradable value for heavy plate at Eur860/mt, some of the lowest prices heard for the product.

Offers from Eastern Europe were heard between Eur880/mt and Eur900/mt CPT Krakow and Warsaw.

Inquiries for material have increased, but sources noted actual bookings remained quite scarce, despite heightened competition from other mills.

“We faced harsh competition this week and had to turn to Central European markets to get higher levels of price,” a third, Italy-based mill source said.

Across the steel market, producers have worried about increasing stocks contributing to a further price drop.

— Amanda Flint