The market is becoming more lively following a long period of quiet. Over the past couple of weeks buyers have come back to purchasing as stocks are low and they need material for the end of the year. Transaction levels have recovered some €40/tonne ($42) in contracts compared with the lows of the beginning of October.
Producers are increasing values due to the high cost of processing, energy and imported slabs. This is seen as sustaining values at least until the end of 2023. Plate makers are quoting December lead times and report low stocks.
On average, S275 is now fetching between €670-690/tonne delivered, while S355 is being transacted at €20-30/t more. A mill source says they intend to increase their values to €720/t delivered and €750/t as a second step.
Overall, 2023 is forecast to be a positive year for plates sales despite the declining trend of Q4, according to other market participants.
Imported Asia-origin slab contracts in Italy are rumoured to hover at $570-580/t cfr Italy.
Natalia Capra France