Suppliers in Russia, Ukraine and Brazil were facing low sales to the United States market because of the protectionist measures in place there. As a result, these suppliers have begun to look for alternative destinations for their slab shipments, such as Europe, Turkey and Asia.
In European countries, slab is mainly imported into Italy, to be re-rolled into steel plate. But in August, Italian market activity declines because of scheduled maintenance shutdowns at steel mills and the general holiday period across Southern Europe. This will result in reduced demand for imported slab, market sources said.
“Demand is sluggish, and the closer to August we get, the lower it becomes,” an Italian re-roller told Fastmarkets.
In Asia, slab imports have declined steadily over recent weeks amid sluggish demand in the region and increased competition among slab exporters.
“Buyers are likely to reject any attempt by slab producers to raise their asking...