European heavy plate prices rise despite softening demand

Domestic prices for heavy plate have increased in Europe in the week to Feb. 24 despite a slow down in trading activity.

“Plate market entered slow period as stockists have not been active in the market,” a steelmaker said. “But projects have already started looking for April-June plate.”

Bigger distributors have been holding back from booking volumes, unwilling to commit to making deals for the material with longer lead times. Earliest production plate available in the market was April rolling.

End-users that acquire heavy plate for projects or by long-term contracts, however, have continued to show healthy demand.

Platts assessed domestic prices for heavy plate in Northwest Europe up Eur25/mt on the week to Eur1,050/mt ex-works Ruhr on Feb. 24.

For integrated mills in the region tradable values have been reported at Eur1,050/mt ex-works Ruhr and offers heard at Eur1,050-1,100/mt ex-works Northwest Europe.

German mills have had limited volumes for spot buyers due to good order books with projects.

A Northwest European re-roller has been offering plate at Eur1,050/mt delivered Germany.

Offers from Central Europe have been limited. A producer from Poland remained out of the market. A steelmaker from Romania has been offering June delivery plate at Eur1,035/mt ex-works. And a re-roller from Czech Republic has been offering the s355jr grade material at Eur1,068/mt delivered.

Platts assessed domestic heavy plate prices in South Europe up by Eur10/mt on week to Eur930/mt ex-works Italy on Feb. 24.

Few transactions have been heard at Eur930-940/mt ex-works Italy, offers – at Eur930-950/mt ex-works Italy and tradable values – at Eur910-940/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts assessed prices for imported slab in South Europe unchanged on the week at $750/mt CIF Italy on Feb. 24.

Offers and tradable values for imported slab from Asia have been heard at $720-$750/mt CIF Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar