European plate market in stalemate even as demand rises

The European plate market remained stable in the week ending Jan 7, with the market easing itself into the first quarter and very little transaction activity heard in the Ruhr region. Demand was heard to be picking up, however, with wind turbine and infrastructure projects now being finalized, sources told S&P Global Platts.

“Market is not depressed. Machine building consumers are ordering well,” a German distributor said.

Prices from Italian stockholders were heard at Eur880/mt ex-works Italy after coming down from initial Eur900/mt ex-works Italy offers. Projects were heard to be booked at Eur1,000/mt for S355 material from end users, with overall order books “looking good,” according to the same distributor.

Prices for plate were heard between Eur830-860/mt ex-works Italy, though there were no “meaningful signals for new direction yet,” according to an Italian mill source.

Others in the market remain optimistic that demand could improve in conjunction with prices on the back of higher energy costs and the disruptions to logistics, specifically a shortage of truck drivers and available vehicles.

— Amanda Flint, Catherine Brown