Italian plate market stagnates, prices low

The Italian heavy plate market remains quiet this month, with orders weak and mostly back-to-back, sources tell Kallanish.

Prices have declined by some €30/tonne ($32) compared to April on the back of low consumption. Both large and smaller buyers are not in a purchasing mood and are preferring to book low tonnages, to avoid any commitment. The distribution sector is also selling low volumes, but frequently, as clients are demanding quick delivery.

Asian-origin quotes have long lead times but competitive prices, at €600-620/t cfr Italy. The first four months of the year were “sufficient” in terms of sales. However, the main point of concern remains the lack of margins, mill sources report. With the current cost of production and sourcing slab, prices for S275 should be at about €60/t higher, they agree.

Italian plate re-rollers are quoting June lead times. Domestic S275 grade transactions are at between €700-710/t ex-works on average, while S355 is being transacted at €30/t more, sources suggest.

Imported slab prices from Asia are at about $580-600/t cfr Italy.

Natalia Capra France