Italian heavy plate prices rise despite trading slowdown

Domestic prices for heavy plate in Italy have increased slightly in the week ended Jan. 26 although trading activity has slowed down.

“In plate market, there is no big restocking, but prices hold largely stable,” a mill source said. “There is regular trading and big buyers would have to return to the market looking for volumes soon.”

“Demand for plate is normal, slab prices are high, re-rollers are looking for higher plate prices and generally the market seems healthy,” a Germany-based distributor said.

Platts assessed domestic prices for heavy plate in South Europe up Eur5/mt on the week to Eur770/mt ex-works Italy on Jan. 26.

Majority of deals have been heard at Eur760-780/mt ex-works Italy. Italian mills have been aiming for Eur800/mt ex-works for the material.

Platts assessed prices for imported slab in the region at $660/mt CIF Italy on Jan. 26, down $10/mt on the week.

Deals for slab from Asia have been heard at $650-$660/mt CIF Italy and tradable values — at $670-$680/mt CIF Italy.

Some market participants, however, had less optimistic view on the demand.

“We have very poor inquiries and orders, the market is still suffering from the lowest turnover from stock in history in December and therefore a stock level which is not as low as expected plus big purchases in last year at old prices,” another Germany-based distributor said.

Platts assessed domestic prices for heavy plate in Northwest Europe down Eur10/mt on the week to Eur830/mt ex-works Ruhr on Jan. 26.

Offers of heavy plates from German mills have been reported at Eur810-850/mt ex-works Ruhr, but lower prices were available only for limited volumes.

Northwest European re-rollers have been offering the material at Eur800-850/mt ex-works and a supplier from Central Europe — at Eur800/mt ex-works.

Author: Maria Tanatar,