EU steel sections prices soften amid weak seasonal demand

European domestic steel sections prices continued to soften in the seven days to July 27 because of weak seasonal demand ahead of summer holidays.

The Platts European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) assessment was at Eur1,175/mt delivered July 27, down Eur17.50/mt on the week, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

A European mill source placed a tradable value for category 1 medium sections around Eur1,200/mt delivered, adding that the mill received bids around Eur1,150/mt delivered but they were not accepted due to high gas and electricity costs. “It is getting hectic, and forecast says it is going to a real situation,” the source said. Italy will be on summer holidays over Aug. 6-29 and no business will be conducted, according to the source.

A Benelux-based distributor said demand was quiet because of varying holiday periods in Europe spanning from end-July to the first three weeks of August.

The market was also grappling with high energy costs and low capacity of transported volumes through ships amid a heat wave in some European countries. “Water level is getting low so ships can only carry 40% of their usual weight. If you transport less through ships, you have to accommodate that by road so there will be a backlog,” the distributor said. The source placed a tradable value for beams at Eur1,180-Eur1,200/mt delivered.

Another distributor source in the Benelux region cited a deal for 500 mt category 1 medium sections at Eur1,150/mt delivered Benelux. The source said current demand was almost half the average level as most customers are on holiday.

Northwest European domestic rebar prices also fell in the week to July 27. The Platts TSI Northwest Europe rebar assessment was down Eur20/mt at Eur985/mt ex-works July 27, S&P Global data showed.

A distributor source in the Benelux region placed a tradable value at Eur995/mt delivered Benelux, while a seller source cited a workable level for domestic rebars at Eur1,000/mt delivered.

— Rabia Arif, Staff