Italian plate prices are increasing by some €50/tonne ($53) in late-December and early-January contracts. Sentiment in January is more optimistic than last month when prices fell below the level of €800/t ex-works for the basic S275 quality, Kallanish learns from market participants.
After a difficult start in December, however, sales volumes picked up significantly over the last two weeks of the month. Sellers are reporting contracts were implemented during the Christmas and New Year’s break when the country was on holiday.
As order intake increased in the course of December, also in other European countries, lead times are now longer. Italian plate makers are quoting between end-February and March delivery. Domestic contract prices have gone up this month to €820-830/t ex-works for S275 and about €20/t ex-works more for the higher 355 grade. Sellers are now asking for €850-880/t ex-works but are mulling further increases by mid-January.
The hikes are mostly due to increasing prices of slab, improved demand and short supply due to longer plate delivery times.
Natalia Capra France