Austrian coil prices defy European trend

The increase in coil prices observed in Germany, the Benelux and even Italy do not seem to be replicating in the Austrian market, Kallanish hears from observers.

While north of the Alps the market leader is seen successfully pushing up hot rolled coil prices twice in recent weeks to €850/tonne ($906) currently, Austrian buyers did not even accept the first move. “They [the mill] did try for a €50 leap three weeks ago, but ended up not getting a single cent more,” one buyer says. In the first days of March, his company still secured a deal at the preceding price level of around €780/t, he adds.

He does not reveal the seller company but adds that the local mill is also wishing for higher prices, but cannot extort them in an environment of reservation and low demand. “They told me only last week that they are trying, but that the market does not accept,” he says.

Another manager tells of rumours in the market about offers at even lower values than the deal of the above buyer. According to his sources, the offers come from mill-owned service centres. If true, this would mean contradicting sales strategies on the steelmakers’ side. It gives Austria a special position, sandwiched between big neighbours Germany and Italy, both with price levels relatively close to one another.

Christian Koehl Germany