Italian plate demand dries up, prices decline

Italian plate prices are falling significantly compared to the beginning of September. Producers noted some return of demand in the last week of September and first days of October, following a long period of quiet and low sales.

At present, orders are drying up in Italy, but plate makers are selling to other European countries such as Poland and Ukraine. In the Italian domestic market, buyers are waiting for values to decline further, sources tell Kallanish.

Distributors are chasing orders. “A price war is starting where companies compete with each other by discounting material a lot,” one source says. Distribution firms are chasing margins and hoping to increase their turnover.

On average, S275 has declined to €650-670/tonne ($686-707) delivered, while S355 is being transacted at slightly below €700/t delivered. Sources forecast that some demand should return in November when Italian companies buy material for year-end delivery. A large service centre says the market is stuck and all flat and long product prices are falling.

Imported Asia-origin slab contracts in Italy are rumoured to have been done at $580/t cfr Italy, mostly stable compared to mid-September.

Natalia Capra France