EU steel sections prices continue to drop amid quiet demand, weak scrap

European domestic steel sections prices continued to soften in the week to June 15, as buyers held back from booking orders expecting prices to move further down.

Platts’ European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was assessed at Eur1,350/mt delivered June 15, down Eur10/mt on week.

One Benelux-based distributor source put mill offers for beams around Eur1,350/mt delivered but indicated that it might be possible to book tonnages like 500 mt and above around Eur1,300/mt delivered. The source noted that demand was extremely weak in the market and mills were willing to accept any counteroffers they receive. Meanwhile, buyers were not in a hurry to buy as prices seemed to be trending lower.

Another distributor in the Benelux region noted that prices for long steel products were following movements in scrap levels, highlighting that scrap prices in Europe had decreased significantly since the end of May.

“There is demand, but people are careful because prices are moving lower,” he said, adding that buyers are being cautious and only buying what they need.

The source put a tradable value for medium sections category 1 at Eur1,300/mt delivered, depending on the mill.

“No transactions are happening in the market,” one European mill source told S&P Global, adding that the last deal the mill booked during the week starting June 13 was at around Eur1,370/mt delivered. The source also put mill offers for medium sections category 1 at Eur1,400/mt delivered, while buyers were asking for Eur1,350/mt delivered. He noted that along with weak demand, softening scrap is also putting pressure on prices.

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

Elsewhere, Northwest European domestic rebar prices also softened week on week to June 15. Platts TSI Northwest Europe Rebar was assessed down Eur10/mt to Eur1,165/mt ex-works June 15.

— Rabia Arif, Staff