As reported last week, Celsa increased prices to one of its smaller direct suppliers by £7 per tonne, but that is now more widely reported to be £8 per tonne.
However, Tata Steel and the majority of the Midland foundries that buy from S. Wales have not increased their prices’. Despite this, and probably due to the shortage of raw materials aggravated by the snow, the home market is still the best outlet. So far, exporters have kept dockside prices down to December levels, but if demand from Turkey and China show an expected increase the balance will swing toward exports.
Demand is stable, but there has been no increase in dockside prices as exporters take purchases into stock and evaluate the value offered by the few markets available. Turkish mills are expressing mild interest but the rest of Europe remains quiet and prices for boxes to India and China are low. Stocks and yard intakes throughout the area are also low with snow and bad weather adversely affecting road transport and processing. One firm’s M.D. commented, “If we had something to sell, prices would almost certainly go even lower.”