EU steel sections prices gain as mills hold back

European domestic steel sections prices gained another week up to July 7, as sources cited limited supply.

S&P Global Platts’ European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was assessed at Eur1,030/mt delivered July 7, up Eur15/mt week on week.

Domestic medium section prices continued to inch up to historically high levels as sources noted limited supply in the market.

One distributor source based in the Benelux region noted that most mills are currently holding back offers for beams, while some are only selling limited quantities. The source put a tradable value for Category 1 medium sections at Eur1,060/mt delivered.

Another Benelux-based distributor source put a tradable value at Eur1,000/mt delivered, with some mills targeting Eur1,100/mt delivered. Most mills are only selling to their regular customers and holding back offers from the spot market, he added.

The source said he does not expect prices to change a lot during the holidays as France and Belgium are set to enjoy an extended summer holiday period in late July and early August.

“Mills here are quite comfortable,” he said. “They pretend they have sold most part of September already. But most mills will close for two to three weeks in July and August for holidays. So, I don’t think their orderbooks are that good. I think European mills will produce less material and get higher margin.”

One European mill source also noted that market sentiment is still strong and there is not much slow down in demand expected in the near term as seasonal holidays vary from country to country.

— Rabia Arif, Staff