Activity remains weak in EU HRC market, with some mills giving discounts

Trading activity in the European hot-rolled coil market remained slow May 29, while the majority of steelmakers have held offers stable, though some were ready to give discounts for coil with higher added value.

“Transactional volumes are limited,” a service center source said. “The buyers are just filling the gaps in their stocks when absolutely needed.”

According to a mill source, “European distributors have been avoiding booking of larger volumes as they remained uncertain of the price trend and demand.”

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe up by Eur5/mt on the day to Eur630/mt ex-works Ruhr May 29.

Deals for smaller lots have been heard at Eur630/mt ex-works Ruhr and tradable values at Eur630-640/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Offers have been reported at Eur650-660/mt delivered Germany, and for commodity grades the price is equivalent to Eur630-640/mt ex-works Ruhr. A German mill, however, has been offering HRC with higher added value, therefore with higher premiums, at the same prices on delivered basis, making it the equivalent of Eur615-620/mt ex-works Ruhr.

The market mood has been slightly better in the South Europe compared to Germany due to reduced domestic supply caused by stoppages at Acciaierie d’Italia, sources said.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe stable on the day at Eur625/mt ex-works Italy May 29.

Offers have been heard at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy, and buyers’ tradable values were not accepted by mills at Eur615-625/mt ex-works Italy.

Interest in imported material from Asia has been low due to long lead times, sources said.

“Offers from Asia are out of question due to long lead times — the material would be custom cleared in the fourth quarter, and we still do not know what would be the changes in the safeguard measures,” another service center said. “European mills understand that the buyers will have to turn to them for volumes and avoid moving prices down.”

Offers of HRC from Egypt and from Turkey, including antidumping duties, were at Eur610-615/mt CIF Italy.

Author: Maria Tanatar