EU plate producers aim for higher prices on demand recovery

European steelmakers have been targeting higher prices for heavy plate in the week to Dec. 23 citing anticipated demand recovery and higher costs.

A German steelmaker has been offering plate at minimum Eur900/mt ex-works Ruhr. Market sources estimated tradable values at the same level.

Another mill from Germany, traditionally less involved in the spot market activity, has been offering the material at prices above Eur1,000/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A Northern European mill has been trading plate at Eur900/mt ex-works.

Platts assessed heavy plate in Northern Europe up Eur50/mt week on week at Eur900/mt ex-works Ruhr on Dec. 23.

Situation has been similar in Italy, where the re-rollers are more exposed to rising slab and high energy costs.

“If you want to get slab from Asia now, you can get prices of about $640-$650/mt CIF Italy,” an Italian re-roller said. “With such slab prices, you cannot sell plate below Eur800/mt ex-works, it would simply be below the production costs.”

Platts assessed import slab prices in Italy at $640/mt CIF Italy Dec. 23, up $65/mt week on week.

Offers of heavy plate from Italian mills have been heard at Eur800-850/mt ex-works Italy. Tradable values have been reported at Eur790-800/mt ex-works Italy, but the mills are expected to insist on achieving prices of Eur850/mt ex-works Italy in the start of January.

Platts assessed Italian heavy plate up Eur50/mt week on week at Eur800/mt ex-works Italy on Dec. 23.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven