EU steel sections prices soften amid weak market

European domestic steel sections prices continued to soften on week to Oct. 26, as sources reported slow demand in the market.

Platts European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was at Eur1,125/mt delivered Oct. 26, down Eur20/mt on week, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

One European mill source cited transactions booked around Eur1,100-Eur1,150/mt delivered. The source noted that buyers were in a wait and watch mode. “But I think [electricity costs] are becoming more or less stable. So, I don’t think that prices for long steel products will move much lower in the near-term. In fact, we might even see some corrections in the upward direction,” he said.

“We might also see some restocking activity from customers so overall positive sentiment for the market,” he added.

One Benelux-based distributor source cited a tradable value for category 1 medium sections at Eur1,100-1,150/mt delivered Benelux. The source noted that demand was better for their market as better weather conditions and lower energy prices were creating positive sentiment and some projects were continuing. However, the source expected energy costs to increase during winter season.

Elsewhere, Northwest European domestic rebar prices also softened on week to Oct. 26, amid a lack of activity. Platts assessment of TSI Northwest Europe Rebar was down Eur6/mt to Eur860/mt ex-works on Oct. 26, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

One European mill source indicated a workable level for domestic rebars in the Northwest European market at Eur875/mt delivered or even lower.

One seller source also indicated workable level at around Eur875/mt delivered or lower. However, he noted that buyers were only asking for prices but no one was placing any orders.

One European mill source noted that Eur875-Eur880/mt delivered levels made sense for Germany from local producers, as the Italian mill was offering rebars to Germany at Eur850-Eur860/mt delivered. The source added that some mills in the market might stop production soon for a while as inventory levels in the market were strong and buyers were holding back. In addition, with the upcoming winter season demand might be affected. The source expected prices to recover by the end of the year.

— Rabia Arif, Staff