North America

In the US market, Chequered Plate prices increased in the third quarter of 2023 due to stagnant demand amidst turmoil in the banking sector. Since mid-October, plant utilization rates remained below 75%, and low service center inventories and high raw material prices contributed to higher prices of finished steel. Mills received higher prices on the spot market, causing an increase in steel goods' spot prices. Service centers were cautious when adding inventory as future prices were uncertain. Nucor Brandenberg's new mill appeared to be a few months away from reaching full output. Congested port handling rates caused cargo handling rates to rise. The market was still digesting price increases from last month, and the reduction in mill production caused by weak downstream industry demand led to higher prices. Inflationary cost increases impacted almost all segments, forcing participants in the market to adjust their pricing. The US steelmakers continued to be unable to meet the market's demand, which helped keep steel prices stable. Domestic steel mills underwent extensive maintenance in 2023, worsening the supply shortage situation. As a ripple effect, the SS Chequered Plate (6 mm) prices for Ex Texas (USA) settled at USD 4568/MT.

Asia Pacific

In the first quarter of 2023, Chinese Chequered Plate prices decreased due to falling Nickel costs and a slowdown in demand from the construction and automotive industries. Following the Spring Festival holiday, sales of Chequered Plate slowed down, and there was no apparent consumption of spot resources. Market players were on vacation during the Chinese New Year Holidays, and despite the delivery of large factory resources, they were not picked up, resulting in resource accumulation. With the resumption of production at large steel plants, downstream demand gradually increased, but inventory levels started to rise, and pressure from the steel mill eroded cost support for raw materials and ferronickel. Domestic mills reduced production due to low prices, which failed to curb the price decline. Market pessimism was strong, and the profit margin of the industry chain was squeezed. Domestic iron plants were unable to accept low prices due to production losses, and most of them implemented production reduction plans. As a ripple effect, the SS Chequered Plate (304-6 mm) prices for Ex Tangshan settled at USD 2475/MT.


During the first quarter of 2023, Chequered Plate prices in the European market remained stagnant due to various factors, including rising slab prices, increased demand, and longer plate delivery times. Spot distributors accepted the price increase, but larger buyers were willing to pay higher prices for April-June plates. However, larger distributors were hesitant to commit to deals due to longer lead times, and German mills had fewer volumes for spot purchasers due to strong order books with projects. Heavy plate availability was constrained due to strong order books in Germany and Italy, a stronger emphasis on projects and long-term agreements over the spot market by German mills, and decreased production in Central Europe. Despite strong consumer demand, margins throughout the value chain decreased. Limited domestic supply and steady demand supported domestic prices, and buyers remained cautious about long lead times and hyped-up prices after the latest price rises earlier this month. Thus, the SS Chequered Plate (304-5mm) prices for Ex Ruhr settled at USD 3740/MT.

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