European heavy plate prices slide lower, but bottom said near

Prices for steel heavy plate across Europe inched down in the week to Wednesday June 14, but mill sources said the bottom is close, with costs starting to bite.Quiet market conditions persisted in Italy during the week to Wednesday, but sources said stockholders have started to send inquiries and are assessing the situation.

The most aggressive bids for commodity-grade heavy plate from stockholders were coming in at €710-720 ($766-777) per tonne EXW, but producers have not accepted these levels so far.

Re-rollers maintained offers at around €780-810 per tonne EXW, while for bigger tonnages it was possible to get €750-760 per tonne EXW, sources said.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Southern Europe was €750-790 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €10 per tonne from €760-800 per tonne EXW on June 7.

Sources were not ruling out further downward corrections in June, but agreed the bottom was close, considering the approaching cost line for producers.

“The cost line [for plate] is now around €780-800 [per tonne EXW], given the price of slab purchased in previous rounds, with the new slab arriving, the cost line would move to around €750-760 [per tonne EXW],” a producer source said.

Import offers from Asia were reported at €700-730 per tonne CFR, but for October delivery.

Meanwhile, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Northern Europe was €870-900 per tonne on Wednesday, widening down by €20 per tonne from €890-900 per tonne on June 7.

Offers from one German integrated mill for commodity grade heavy plate with July delivery were heard at around €880-900 per tonne EXW.

A producer from Scandinavia was able to offer August-delivery plate at €900 per tonne EXW.

Buyers’ estimations of tradeable values varied at €850-870 per tonne EXW.

The trading activity in the region has remained subdued, with buyers having maintained a wait-and-see stance for several weeks now.

Limited tonnages of plate from Central Europe and Italy were offered to Germany at around €820-850 per tonne CPT, sources said.

Published by: Julia Bolotova