Steel plate prices fall further in Northern Europe, flatten in Italy amid trading lull

Steel plate prices in Northern Europe declined further in the week to Wednesday August 24 amid slow demand, while those in Italy were flat due to the summer lull, market sources told Fastmarkets.
Northern Europe
Some integrated steelmakers in Germany have continued to lower their offers in order to secure deals in quiet market conditions.

Notably, plate sales were reported at €1,120-1,140 ($1,114-1,134) per tonne exw in Germany during the week to Wednesday.

“German mills have to find new orders, but demand is still too low,” a trading source in Germany said.

Some bids for German plate were reported at €1,085-1,100 per tonne exw, however no deals were reported at these levels.

Mills in Germany were able to offer plate with October delivery, market sources said.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Northern Europe, was at €1,120-1,140 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €20-60 per tonne from €1,140-1,200 per tonne on August 17.

But market participants did not rule out further price drops in the region due to overstocking and slow end-user demand.

“Distributors are overstocked, especially when it comes to commodity grades. At the same time, prospects for [steel plate] consumption are not so great with the recession and energy crisis in Europe,” a trading source in the Benelux area said.

Poland-origin plate was offered to the south of Germany at €985-1,000 per tonne cpt, with some transactions at the lower end of the price range heard during the assessment week.

Italy’s market was seasonally quiet with prices seen as flat in the seven days to Wednesday.

Both mills and buyer were largely out of the market and were expected to only come back in September.

The last plate deals done in the nation before the summer closures were at €930-970 per tonne exw.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel domestic plate, 8-40mm, exw Southern Europe, was €930-970 per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged from the previous week.

Post-summer expectations among mill sources and buyers were quite mixed.

Producers in Italy were mulling post-holiday price rises to account for surging production costs, while buyers were skeptical about potential increases due to slow demand and availability of cheaper imports.

Published by: Julia Bolotova