Activity in Italy’s steel slab import market remained subdued in the week to Friday July 8, with the downtrend in prices continuing and weak demand for finished steel leaving re-rollers with sufficient slab inventories, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel slab, import, cif Italy was $720-750 per tonne cfr on Friday, widening down by $30 week on week.
No fresh deals have been heard in the market since in the end of June when a deal for material from India was concluded at $750 per tonne cfr.
“We have large variety of the suppliers, but we have sufficient inventories [allowing us] not to think about new booking until the end of summer,” one buyer-side source said.
The euro has weakened against the dollar due to concerns over the European economy in light of soaring energy prices there – mainly caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the trade fallout that has resulted in the severe disruption of oil and gas supplies in the region, sources told Fastmarkets.
“Economic uncertainty over rising energy costs in Italy [is not exactly] encouraging [anyone to make] slab purchases right now,” the buyer-side source added.
Italian steel plate producers, meanwhile, the main consumers of imported slab in Italy, continued to face low demand and falling prices.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Southern Europe was €1,100-1,150 ($1,120-1,171) per tonne on Wednesday, down by €100-150 per tonne from €1,200-1,300 per tonne a week earlier.
With the change in the euro/dollar exchange rate the decline was equivalent to a $16 fall from $1,136-1,187 on Wednesday, according to Oanda.com.
Published by: Elina Virchenko