EU steel section prices continue to drop on low demand

European domestic steel sections prices continued to soften during the week ending June 22, as buyers held back from booking orders, expecting prices to drop further.

Platts assessed the European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) at Eur1,300/mt delivered June 22, down Eur50 on week, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Activity was also low with many market players gathered this week at the Wire and Tube industry exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

One Benelux-based distributor source put a tradable value for beams around Eur1,250/mt delivered, adding that purchasing activity was still on hold as the market was expecting prices to fall further.

Another distributor in the Benelux region noted that tradable value for category 1 medium sections was around Eur1,250/mt, delivered Benelux, but prices were higher in Germany at around Eur1,350-Eur1,360/mt, delivered. “Scrap is moving down, so customers are waiting [until] the last moment to place orders [for what they need],” he said.

In Northern Europe, Platts assessed domestic shredded scrap at Eur397.50/mt delivered June 10, down sharply from Eur500/mt in May, according to S&P Global. The assessment for Southern European shredded scrap was at Eur400/mt delivered to the mill for June June 10, down sharply from Eur510/mt delivered in May.

“Everyone is talking about very low prices, but there are no transactions in the market,” one European mill source said, adding that the market was hearing levels around Eur1,250-Eur1,260/mt delivered, but those were mostly from buyers. He also noted that the limited activity happening in the market was around Eur1,350-Eur1,360/mt delivered.

Another mill source indicated workable levels for category 1 medium sections around Eur1,250/mt, delivered, adding that tradable levels in Germany were higher, at around Eur1,300-Eur1,350/mt delivered.

Elsewhere, Northwest European domestic rebar prices also softened on the week ending June 22. Platts TSI assessed Northwest Europe Rebar down Eur80 to Eur1,085/mt ex-works June 22, according to S&P Global.

One seller and one distributor source put a workable level for domestic rebars at Eur1,100/mt, delivered. One mill source indicated workable levels around Eur1,050-Eur1,100/mt delivered, highlighting a lack of significant activity in the market.

— Rabia Arif, Staff