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Mills will have to raise their prices soon, the source said. If price rises do not take place, delivery times will lengthen, he added.
While an increase in prices is expected, Northern European ex-works plate prices remained unchanged this week at €500-505 ($668-675) per tonne, while in the south ex-works prices remained at €460-465 ($615-621) per tonne.
With more energy projects coming online globally, the steel plate sector could also get an overall lift, resulting in more exports from Europe.
“There is a lot of demand at the moment,” the mill source said. “The world is investing in energy.”
The oil industry showed particular demand for plate in North Africa, Northern Europe and Brazil, the source said.
Demand was likely to draw on higher quality European products, he added.
Plate imports into the European market were not viable this week, with mills focusing on their domestic markets instead.
“[In the] first quarter of next year, maybe imports will be interesting again,” the source said.
Plate imports typically come from China, Russia and Ukraine, he said.
Prices for plate imported into Northern Europe were in a €460-470 ($615-628) per tonne range, unchanged week-on-week. In southern Europe, prices remained at €435-440 ($581-588) per tonne.
The European plate market is set to strengthen on the back of more projects in the energy sector, a source from a European mill told Steel First this week.