There has been very little plate price movement since March. Third country imports are not disturbing the German market at present. Distributors are reluctant to replenish their stocks because they believe selling values may have peaked.
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Recent negotiations for the remainder of second trimester contracts have resulted in a roll over of the March cold rolled coil figures. Customers have enough material to see them through to the end of June. End-users and distributors continue to order cautiously. Coated coil prices have stabilised. The majority of German vehicle manufacturers continue to perform well. However, demand from that sector has started to weaken.
Mill order volumes are likely to remain subdued in the short term because distributors are expected to keep their purchases to a minimum. The threat from imports should remain low over the coming months because of the unattractive prices being offered. Consequently, transaction values are expected to remain reasonably stable during the second quarter.