Heavy steel plate prices down in Germany, stable in Italy

A German steelmaker made deals at lower prices in the week to Aug. 5 to fill order books, while another producer there has kept offer high, market sources said.

The producer has made few deals at Eur1,225-1,250/mt ex-works Ruhr, a source said.

Another steelmaker, however, kept offers at Eur1,400/mt ex-works and above due to strong order books. The producer has been focused on sales to projects and fulfilment of long-term agreements and has limited volume for spot market.

Platts assessed heavy plate prices in Northern Europe down by Eur100/mt week on week at Eur1,250/mt ex-works Ruhr, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

Offers of heavy plate from Central European mills have been reported at Eur1,000-1,050/mt delivered Germany.

In Italy, prices have stabilized as producers have either stopped production or are planning to go on summer maintenance.

Buyers have restocked, although booked volumes have been below usual levels, and are likely to remain inactive until September.

Import offers, one of the main drivers allowing buyers to negotiate lower prices with Italian producers in July-August, have stabilized at around Eur850/mt CFR ex-Asia.

Italian rerollers have settled a few deals this week at Eur980-1,020/mt ex-works, and buyers estimated achievable prices within the same range.

As a result, Platts assessed plate in Southern Europe at Eur1,000/mt ex-works Italy on Aug. 5, unchanged over the week.

Prices for imported slab in Southern Europe have also been heard at stable prices – $650-$670/mt CIF Italy from Asia.

Demand is likely to improve in September, sources said, as buyers are likely to resume restocking and the restart of some projects is expected.

“Demand is low, but fine for summer and forecast for September remains positive,” an Italian reroller said. “All in all, I’d consider the current level as a bottom price and the forecast to be stable/up in September.”

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven