Buyers expect European HRC offers to rise following proposed changes to safeguard measures

European buyers expected an increase in hot-rolled coil offers on June 4 following the changes proposed by the European Commission to safeguard measures.

The European Commission announced May 30 that it is considering a 15% cap for a single country over the Tariff Rate Quota volume for HRC initially available in each quarter. European authorities are scheduled to announce definitive measures by June 30.

The proposed changes are expected to limit volumes coming from Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam, sources said.

“Demand for import is low due to the new safeguard clause,” an Italian service center said. “This for sure will have an impact on HRC imports from Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan.”

Buyers are expected to turn to an alternative import, either material from the Middle East or buying more coil from European mills.

In addition, market sources expect an increase in offers from European mills and non-EU suppliers that are not impacted by the safeguard changes.

“The amended measures make imports more complicated, it is unclear how the new measures would be implemented,” another service center said. “And European mills will use this situation to finally push prices up.”

Import offers from Turkey have been heard at Eur590-610/mt CIF Italy and from Asia, at Eur610/mt CIF Italy.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur630/mt ex-works Ruhr on June 4, unchanged on the day.

Tradable values have been reported at Eur630-635/mt ex-works Ruhr with majority of data reported at Eur630/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Offers have been heard at Eur640-660/mt delivered Northwest Europe.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe stable on the day at Eur625/mt ex-works Italy on June 4.

Market sources estimated tradable values at Eur620-630/mt ex-works Italy and offers at Eur650/mt delivered Italy.

Maria Tanatar