ArcelorMittal raises European HRC offers, import competition weakens

ArcelorMittal has started announcing to its buyers its intention to raise offer levels for January orders to €680/t ex-works North Europe for HRC, according to market sources.

The new offer levels indicate a jump of some €50/t from the latest transaction levels registered by Kallanish. The mill is convinced the increase is justified by the fact sales for Q4 allocations have been closed.

The European market remains cautious at the moment, but a strengthening of offers was anticipated by market sources. Meanwhile import options are seen less competitive than in September/October.

Traders reported an offer in the market this week at €610/t CIF South Europe from Egypt. These volumes would be shipped in February. One trader noted that the allocations are possibly already fulfilled, while another stressed nevertheless that February shipping would likely mean customs clearance in April due to safeguard quotas, and therefore very late. Vietnam could offer prices slightly below Egypt, but with delivery also likely to be in Q2.

“Turkish suppliers are offering at $690-700/t CIF (€648-658/t) with duties already included,” a trader added. “Asian suppliers are not competitive at the moment due to the long lead time.”

According to the latest data available, HRC imports into Europe during the first eight months of this year jumped 13.8% y-o-y to 6.1mt. Imports of CRC and metallic coated coils on the other hand moved down compared with last year.

Emanuele Norsa Italy