Italian steel plate prices inch lower as buyers keep holding back

Steel plate prices were stable to slightly weaker in Italy in the week to Wednesday November 2, with producers struggling to secure sales for fourth-quarter material, Fastmarkets heard.Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Southern Europe, was €880-920 ($871-911) per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing downward by €20 per tonne from €880-940 per tonne exw on October 26.

Offers prices from the local re-rollers were reported at €900-950 per tonne exw, depending on a volume, the same as seven days ago. Bids from large buyers were heard at €850-880 per tonne exw.

Transactions were reported at €900-920 per tonne exw during the assessment week, but for limited tonnages.

Several sources said, that for large volumes (over 3,000 tonnes) buyers’ price idea was actually below €850 per tonne exw. No large volumes have been traded recently, however.

Italy-origin plate was offered to Germany at around €900 per tonne exw, which nets back to about €950 per tonne delivered to the south of Germany.

Trading activity in Italy’s plate market remained sluggish over the week; buyers were not looking to restock due to sufficient inventories and on the expectation of a further downtrend in prices.

On the other hand, producers in Italy still had December rolling plate to sell.

Reduced energy prices and the availability of cheap slab have created additional downward pressure on plate prices in the nation.

In Italy, for instance, average wholesale energy prices were €224.77 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in October 2022, down from €429.92 per MWh in September and €543.15 per MWh in August, according to local energy service company Gestore dei Mercati Energetici.

Sentiment for steel slab, the key feedstock for plate production, was also quite negative, with the most recent offers from China and South Korea reported at $580-600 per tonne cfr.

Additionally, import plate offers from Southeast Asia to Italy were reported at quite competitive levels – €790-800 per tonne cfr, mainly from Indonesia and South Korea.

Published by: Julia Bolotova