Italian plate transaction prices remain flat compared to the beginning of the month. Sales this month are slower as the large buyers purchased sizeable volumes in February, Kallanish learns from market participants.
Plate re-rollers are quoting €960/tonne ($1,024) for the basic S275 grade and €1,010/t for the higher 355 grade. Lead times continue to extend to end-April and May for some steelmakers. Domestic contracts are flat at €920-950/t ex-works for S275 and €1,000/t for 355. The gap in price depends on buyer and tonnage.
Because slab prices will remain high this month amid relatively short supply, producers intend to continue increasing plate values, targeting €1,000/t for S275, with €50/t more for 355, a price already consolidated in northern Europe. Order books for the second quarter are considered good. One plate re-roller observes his clients have work in hand and is reporting a strong first quarter for sales.
Asian-origin slab is being bought at $720-750/t cfr Italy, sources suggest.
Natalia Capra France