EU steel sections prices continue to rise amid limited supply

Amid limited supply, European domestic steel sections prices continued to rise significantly in the week up to May 26, market sources told S&P Global Platts.

S&P Global Platts’ European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was assessed at Eur900/mt delivered May 26, up Eur20/mt week on week.

One distributor based in the Benelux region told Platts that customers were no longer buying based on prices but availability. The source noted that current lead times were longer and stock levels were low.

He told Platts that some mills have stopped offering sections as they are truly overbooked. Mills may already have sold part of July, and there was no idea what scrap prices might be like in the near term. In addition, there was no indication regarding China’s direction concerning steel products.

The source put a tradable value for cat 1 medium sections around Eur870-Eur900/mt delivered Benelux.

One European mill source put a mill offer at Eur900/mt delivered, along with tradable levels as mills have been collecting orders at the same prices. The source confirmed that two German mills were not currently making offers. Limited supply is raising prices, and he expected levels to continue increasing in the near term.

Scrap prices dipped in the international market, after reaching a record high of $515.75/mt CFR on May 24 and staying at that level May 25. Platts assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) May 26 at $512/mt CFR, down $3.75/mt day on day.

In Northern Europe, Platts May assessment for Northern European domestic shredded scrap was at a record high of Eur392.50/mt delivered, up month on month from Eur360/mt delivered in April.

Another distributor source told Platts that prices were still going up, as some mills were out of the market. He noted that it was hard to determine what level will currently be workable for cat 1 medium sections amid the supply shortage. The source indicated that even Eur950-Eur960/mt delivered could work, but he was not sure if such high levels were tradable for customers.

— Rabia Arif, Staff