ArcelorMittal seeks higher flat steel prices; output cuts support bullish mood

ArcelorMittal has raised the offer prices for its steel coil products across Europe, while other steelmakers are expected to follow with increases of their own, several trading sources told Fastmarkets on Monday January 9.
As of Monday, ArcelorMittal’s offers for hot-rolled coil with lead times in March were heard at €760 ($809) per tonne delivered, sources said.

This is up from the most recent tradeable values heard at €680-700 per tonne delivered late last month.

At the same time, cold-rolled coil offer prices have moved up to €860 per tonne delivered while hot-dipped galvanized coil offers from the producer were reported at €880 per tonne delivered, Fastmarkets heard.

Trading in the European steel market has been slow in the past two weeks due to the holiday lull. Most buyers and producers were only just returning to the market from Monday onward, and were still mostly assessing the situation.

Market sources expected other steelmakers in Europe to follow the bullish move by ArcelorMittal, and in general, believe that the higher flat steel prices will eventually be accepted by buyers.

Notably, because of numerous output cuts announced by the European flat steel producers in the fourth quarter 2022, the supply of coil might fall short of demand in early 2023, sources said.

Additionally, sources said that stock levels at distributors are trending downward.

“The stock situation is much better compared to the last quarter of 2022. In fact, some steel service centers are complaining about shortage of some positions [of HRC],” a distributor in Northern Europe said.

Published by: Julia Bolotova