EU steel sections prices continue to drop amid quiet demand

European domestic steel sections prices continued to soften in the week to June 29 as buyers held back from booking orders, expecting prices to move down further.

Platts’ European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) assessment was at Eur1,240/mt delivered June 29, down Eur60/mt week on week.

One Benelux-based distributor source put a tradable value for beams around Eur1,180/mt delivered, adding that purchasing activity was still halted as customers continued to hold back, expecting prices to move down further. Mills were also not reporting any sales, the source noted.

Another distributor in the Benelux region noted that tradable value for category 1 medium sections was around Eur1,180/mt delivered Benelux.

“I think there is demand, but people are waiting until they need the material because they think prices will move down,” he said, adding, “Mills are also under pressure because order books are not good.”

The source reported that most mills were scheduled to go on maintenance breaks after mid-July for one month.

“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 Eur1,180/mt delivered, but those seemed more like buyers’ targets. He also reported that the mill sold small tonnages around Eur1,340/mt delivered, adding that the general workable level in the market seemed to be around Eur1,300/mt delivered.

Elsewhere, Northwest European domestic rebar prices also softened in the week to June 29. S&P Global Commodity Insights’ assessment of Platts’ TSI Northwest Europe Rebar was down Eur65/mt to Eur1,020/mt ex-works June 29.

One European trader noted that offers in Germany for rebars were reportedly as high as Eur1,080/mt delivered. One Benelux-based distributor source indicated a tradable value at Eur1,045/mt delivered Benelux. One Italian mill source indicated workable levels in Germany around Eur1,030/mt delivered, adding that the mill was offering rebars to German customers around Eur980/mt delivered.

One seller source, however, noted that realistic workable levels for rebars in the Northwest European market were around Eur1,030-Eur1,040/mt delivered.

— Rabia Arif, Staff