EU plate stable, muted demand expected to recover on week.

Plate prices remained stable across Europe April 29 with Northern European plate assessed at Eur1800/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Sources reported a stabilization in prices in the short-term, but emphasized inherent uncertainties in the current market.

In Northern Europe, mills remained committed to long-term projects, with small tonnages reportedly offered to spot buyers at Eur1800/mt ex-works, according to one mill source.

“Demand weakened in the last week but is expected to recover in the short-term due to low buyer stock levels. I’d forecast prices as stable in the near-term, but there’s still room for a possible rebound.”

A central European re-roller was reported as asking to revise prices on confirmed orders due to logistical issues surrounding slab supply. A distributor source said there may be tighter supply in the market if said issues impacted relevant production capacities.

A central European integrated producer was heard as offering at Eur1650/mt ex-works, though deals were not finalized due to market uncertainties and perceived volatility.

Mill sources disclosed ongoing negotiations for the next round of slab purchasing, with one Italian mill reporting slab prices as “inching down” on the day.

In the Southern market, the plate price also remained stable at Eur1725/mt ex-works Italy.

Deals were heard from a mill source around Eur1750/mt, for small tonnages circa 500mt.

The source saw prices as slowing down as suppliers successfully re-routed their raw material supply chains alongside a dissipation of panic from the market.

“The locking out of Russian suppliers is largely resolved so buyers are looking to new opportunities. It can’t be denied there’s been an inching down on the slab price, but we shouldn’t forget that comes off the back of a historic price rally – I see the trend as a stabilization rather than an impending correction,” said the source.

Demand was reportedly “not where it should be,” and the quieter market was attributed in part to recent holidays.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar