The May Day holidays have kept European plate prices stable
over the past week, despite the expectation of price declines
for the flat rolled product next month, market sources told
Hardly any business has taken place over the past week as many
industry participants took time off, keeping prices in northern
Europe unchanged at around €630-635 ($831-837) per tonne
delivered for May production, sources said.
Low stocks among Italian end-users kept domestic plate at its
cost level of €580 per tonne delivered, also unchanged
from previous weeks.
"That's the absolute lowest," one trader said of southern
Ukrainian producer Metinvest has started to pushing additional
tonnages into southern Europe, however, traders have warned.
"Some people are expecting that prices will drop back to the
mid-€500 range," a second trader said, warning of the
effect on southern European prices arising from the additional
The decline in prices in the region could spill over into
northern Europe, he added, but stability in input costs should
afford European prices some protection from imports.
Imports from China and India have been lower at €540-580
per tonne cfr, though the long lead times for delivery of the
flat-rolled material - as late as July - will make them
unattractive, sources told Metal Bulletin.