Italian plate orders surge, Ilva restarts mill

Italian plate prices remain steady compared to last week after producers asked for a €40/tonne ($44/t) increase compared to December in spot prices and contracts, Kallanish learns from distributors and re-rollers in the country.

Transaction prices for the lower quality S275 material from mills remain stable on last week at €500-510/t ex-works for delivery in March. A premium of €20-25/t is being paid for the higher grade S355. The heavy plate market is also climbing quickly in France where producers have already raised prices twice for the first quarter (see Kallanish 16 January). Italian plate prices are expected to increase accordingly and to attain a transaction level of €520-530/t for S275 in the coming days.

A high number of enquiries and high prices for imported slabs are making the market lively, several sources suggest. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal Italia’s former Ilva plant in Taranto is going to restart its plate mill from 10 February producing 30,000 tonnes of plates over 20 shifts, a union representative tells Kallanish. However, after the first 4 weeks of work, the mill will be idled again for 2 weeks.