Italian plate continues to decline in quiet market

Demand for Italian plate remains weak this month, but some purchases did take place at the beginning of July to replenish stocks before the August summer break.

Local plate producers are cutting output to balance supply with demand but the weak appetite for both imported and domestic material is causing values to continue to decline, Kallanish hears from market participants.

Stocks at service centres remain high. They do not see demand resuming from their clients before the end of the month and lament that they are receiving plate bought in April at €1,400-1,450/tonne ($1,436-1,487/t) ex-works for grade S275.

At present, domestic prices for S275 are at €1,000-1,020/t ex-works, depending on volumes, but transactions are heard taking place at €950/t ex-works. Asian-origin imported plate is at some €860-900/t cfr Italy for October delivery. Trading sources say S275 in consignment at ports is abundant and being bought at €930-950/t ex-works, while 355 is bought at €970-980/t ex-works.

The 355 plate grade is in greater demand at present and less available. Considering the weak market, Italian sources believe prices will reach €900/t over the coming days and stabilise at this level until September.

Natalia Capra France