Steel slab suppliers to Italy seek higher prices, buyers hold back

Steel slab suppliers to Italy were targeting higher prices in the week to Friday October 14, while buyers resisted an increase amid a weakening finished steel products market, sources told Fastmarkets.
In general, import slab offers to Italy were reported mainly at $600 per tonne cfr and higher in the week to Friday.

Notably, India-origin slab with December shipment was offered to the nation at $620 per tonne cfr, while an offer from Indonesia was heard at $610 per tonne cfr.

A supplier from South Korea was targeting a level of $590-600 per tonne cfr, after having concluded several deals for sizeable tonnages at $560-570 per tonne cfr in early October.

One market source, however, reported a transaction for South Korean slab done at $590 per tonne cfr during the week to Friday, but it was not widely concluded by other sources.

The highest bids from the re-rollers in Italy were reported at $580 per tonne cfr, while trading sources agreed that the workable price level for import slabs in Italy would be “below $600 per tonne cfr.”

“The plate market is very weak, there is a lot of pressure from buyers to decrease prices,” a trading source said.

As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel slab, import, cif Italy, was $580-590 per tonne cfr on Friday, up by $20 per tonne from $560-570 per tonne on October 7.

The assessment was a reflection of bids, lower end of offers, and market sources estimations of achievable prices.

Published by: Julia Bolotova