Italian re-rollers are pushing for higher plate prices mainly driven by costlier slabs and higher import prices. Plate offer prices went up in December; however, the desired levels have yet to be achieved.
A major Italian re-roller announced a EUR 10/t increase in S275JR plate offers
this week, to EUR 480-490/t EXW, mostly for February delivery. The main reason behind the plate price increase is a continuous growth of slabs prices. Besides, the re-roller has been benefitting from good demand over the last few weeks, which has also contributed to the increase.
The new levels have yet to be achieved in deals, but generally the upward movement continues. Plate has been largely traded in Italy at around EUR 460/t EXW this week against 450-460 EXW last week and EUR 440-450/t EXW in mid-November, according to local sources.
on the one hand, higher slabs prices from CIS suppliers may further support the bullish moods. The latest slab deal in Italy was closed in late November with a $15/t (EUR 14/t) increase, at below $400/t CFR (around EUR 360/t CFR, EUR 1 = $1.1).
Now, CIS suppliers are pushing slabs tags up to $405/t CFR (around EUR 370/t CFR) and will hardly make discounts to Italian buyers considering sales to Turkey at
$405/t CFR and to Southeast Asia at $415/t CFR this week.
on the other hand, some sources believe that Italian buyers have already restocked slabs and will come back to the market only after the Christmas holidays. So, sustainability of the price increase in the longer run is questionable. Besides, most Italian suppliers report that demand in Italian plate market is “not brilliant yet”, which will prevent significant hikes. “Maybe that re-roller [who is offering plate at EUR 480-490/t EXW] is full in order book at the moment so it can increase the prices, but if nothing changes they will be forced to step back,” a local source told.
S275JR plate import offers were heard in Italy at EUR 460-470/t CFR, February shipment.